Socially Overlaid Networks as Key Actors in Green Energy Businesses in Rural Areas

Minna Mikkola, Helena Kahiluoto



For about two decades, sustainability discourse has been operating as a public discourse, stressing reformist and imaginary features of sustainable development (Dryzek, 1997; WCED, 1987). This discourse has its political ‘wing’, emphasising societal orientations for renewal of production and consumption towards sustainability at large (CEC, 1997, 1999; COM, 2001; European Parliament, 2002). Indeed, European food system seems to call for developmental measures, as one fifth to circa half of all categories of environmental impacts are caused by the food system (Tukker et al., 2006) and within this system, meat and dairy sector seem to be responsible to large extent for eutrophication and climate change (Weidema et al., 2008). To effect changes towards increased sustainability, the market has been suggested to operate as a level of playing field for sustainable food (Defra, 2010; HM Government, 2010). It is often interpreted as organic or local (CEC, 2004, 2008; Council Regulation (EC) No 834/2007 of 28 June 2007; Nordic Ecolabelling of Restaurants, 2009) but currently sustainable food is seen to embrace "contribution made by farming on sustainability, climate change, food security and development, biodiversity, animal welfare, and water scarcity" (CEC, 2008, 6). While most consumers do not seem to be willing to pay more for sustainable food, the "concerned consumers" (Weatherell et al., 2003) represent a principled orientation according to which there is more to food than price only (Seyfang, 2006; Weatherell et al., 2003)....

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ISSN 2194-511X


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