Delivering “less but better” meat in practice—a case study of a farm in agroecological transition
Eating “less but better” meat can be a strategy to guide meat consumption in Western or high-income countries towards sustainability, but what “better” means depends on the perspective. Multiple studies and reports suggest that agroecological farming systems could contribute to a broad range of sustainability benefits, but few studies have examined the implications for people and nature following trade-offs between sustainability priorities at the farm level. Therefore, this study explored the effects on a broad range of sustainability themes following agroecological transition on a case farm in east-central Sweden.
We applied a novel mixed-methods approach, combining the indicator-based SMART-Farm tool with additional quantitative and qualitative analysis of the farm’s climate impact, contribution to global food security, economic performance, and working conditions. The results showed improvements for aspects within environmental, social, economic, and governance-related sustainability dimensions, with corroborating results across methods. The case farm thus served as an example of transition to a more sustainable production system, but as expected, there were both trade-offs and synergies between sustainability aspects. Negative effects were found for economic aspects at the farm and societal level.
For this case, one may conclude that “better” meat production both supports and depends on, a more sustainable farm; but that “better” meat and a more sustainable farm cannot be viewed in isolation from the wider food system. Also, “better” can be described by several states along a transition pathway. Key contributions of the study are threefold, a) articulation of the links between agroecology and the concept “less but better,” b) empirically demonstrating synergies and trade-offs in striving for more sustainable meat production, and c) a novel methodological approach for sustainability assessment.
Research news | 2023-10-03
Combining modeling and empirical research can give better sustainability insights
Mixing empirical methods and modeling can provide better insights into cause-effect relationships in sustainability, and improve governance
General news | 2023-09-19
New Google.org grant funds Centre research on AI-powered climate risk tool
Google.org has awarded five million US dollars to a group of scientists, including Centre researchers, to develop and scale ClimateIQ , an artificial intelligence-powered climate risk evaluation tool for cities
General news | 2023-09-19
Researchers and chefs team up for a sustainable lunch week
“Risotto on Swedish oat-rice, with apple cider vinegar, blue mussels from Bohuslän, parsley, and grated Svecia cheese”. That’s one of the science-cooked dishes that guests can enjoy at “A Planetary Lunch” — an experimental lunch week at Stockholm university
Research news | 2023-09-14
The SDGs are not on track — new report outlines what needs to happen
Humanity is set to miss the Sustainable Development Goals. But decisive and timely policy actions can kickstart extraordinary turnarounds and a giant leap toward achieving the SDGs
Research news | 2023-09-13
All planetary boundaries mapped out for the first time, six of nine crossed
For the first time, an international team of scientists is able to provide a detailed outline of planetary resilience by mapping out all nine boundary processes that define a safe operating space for humanity.
General news | 2023-09-04
Centre secures 28 MSEK research funding in two new Formas grants
The two grants worth 14 million SEK each will focus on the intersection of climate, water and biodiversity