Politiska förutsättningar för svensk mjölkproduktion : En analys av rumsliga produktionsmönster
Sammanfattning: The Swedish dairy industry has undergone several restructurings over the past year adapting to a new agricultural policy of neoliberal markets. This has resulted in the decline in the number of smaller farms because of major competition with countries producing milk at a cheaper price. The purpose of this study is based on Marxist-inspired theory of value to examine how neoliberalism affects dairy farmer’s spatial production patterns in Kalmar County. The methodology consists of five semi-structured interviews with dairy farmers in Kalmar County. The results show that the supply chain does not end with the production and distribution of milk, but symbols must be added to sell the milk and it is almost essential for farmers who are forced to go that way to survive. Neoliberalism has changed farmer’s spatial production patterns in different ways. The conventional farmers have had poor profitability after quotas have been removed and are trying to convert to organic milk production or sell locally to increase profitability. Some of the farmers are limited by topography and geographical location because they do not have enough pasture and arable land to convert to organic farming or expand their operations. In order to survive the conventional famers have scaled up their production because they are trapped in the milks labor, use and exchange value. The organic dairy farmers have better profitability after neoliberalism because their earnings come from the milks symbolic value. One conclusion that can be drawn from the study is that dairy farmers have felt compelled to convert to organic production or supply to local dairies because they can take a higher price for milk by adding value through symbols. Overall the study shows that the control of the production has been transferred from farmers to consumers, and this includes EU policy and even private regulations and neoliberalism that function as structures that control farmers in this direction.
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