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The role of municipal websites in the development of small-scale farms in Sweden: Barriers or facilitators?

Authors: Annika Pissin*, Lund University, Eric Clark, Lund University
Topics: Agricultural Geography, Cultural and Political Ecology, Food Systems
Keywords: small-scale farms, agroecology, digital media, Sweden
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Diversified agroecological farms play a key role in transitioning towards sustainable agriculture. The internet as a technology for information and communication is crucial for many small-scale diversified agroecological farms. Numerous platforms exist to facilitate connections between farmers, organizers of alternative food events, and different types of consumers. However, governmental websites have higher credibility and considerable potential to boost consumer interest in local food sources. How municipal websites present local small-scale farmers has considerable potential to support the farms and local food systems. This paper examines 54 municipal and 2 nationwide agricultural websites in Sweden. It uses digital methods to investigate the contents of the websites with a focus on information for and about small farms. The aim is to show how online knowledge about farming and farm products can constitute a barrier or serve to support diversified agroecological farms that operate on a local level. The paper reports on ongoing research in the research project “Sustainable welfare and transition to sustainable agriculture: small-scale agroecological agriculture in Sweden”. It specifically focuses on one of the project’s main research questions: ‘What barriers and facilitators do farmers experience concerning integration into the local community and economy?’

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