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Research article2015Peer reviewedOpen access

The Role of Biotechnology in Sustainable Agriculture: Views and Perceptions among Key Actors in the Swedish Food Supply Chain

Edvardsson Björnberg, Karin; Jonas, Elisabeth; Marstorp, Håkan; Tidåker, Pernilla


Researchers have put forward agricultural biotechnology as one possible tool for increasing food production and making agriculture more sustainable. In this paper, it is investigated how key actors in the Swedish food supply chain perceive the concept of agricultural sustainability and the role of biotechnology in creating more sustainable agricultural production systems. Based on policy documents and semi-structured interviews with representatives of five organizations active in producing, processing and retailing food in Sweden, an attempt is made to answer the following three questions: How do key actors in the Swedish food supply chain define and operationalize the concept of agricultural sustainability? Who/what influences these organizations' sustainability policies and their respective positions on agricultural biotechnology? What are the organizations' views and perceptions of biotechnology and its possible role in creating agricultural sustainability? Based on collected data, it is concluded that, although there is a shared view of the core constituents of agricultural sustainability among the organizations, there is less explicit consensus on how the concept should be put into practice or what role biotechnology can play in furthering agricultural sustainability.


agricultural sustainability; biotechnology; sustainability policy; food production systems; environment; Sweden

Published in

2015, Volume: 7, number: 6, pages: 7512-7529
Publisher: MDPI

      SLU Authors

        Sustainable Development Goals

        SDG2 Zero hunger
        SDG12 Responsible consumption and production

        UKÄ Subject classification

        Environmental Sciences
        Genetics and Breeding

        Publication identifier


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