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Från mål till måltid: Implementeringen av det politiska målet om 25 procent ekologisk mat i offentlig sektor år 2010– en fallstudie kring skolmaten i Växjö
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social and Economic Geography. (Forskarskolan geografi)
2011 (Swedish)Licentiate thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this thesis is to investigate the implementation of a political aim – formulatedfrom a context of sustainable development. In 2006 both the Swedish national Parliament andthe municipality of Växjö (among others) stated that 25% of publically served food wouldstem from organic production by the end of 2010. The thesis investigates the outcome of theimplementation of this policy in a local perspective - looking at one part of the public sectorby focusing on four differently organized schools within Växjö municipality.

School food in Sweden has a specific institutional setting. It holds the almost unique statusas a non-charged, legal right to all pupils in the compulsory school system. School food as apublic good is affected by the EU legislation of public procurement. The thesis studies theoverall institutional framework (i.e. legislation and regulations) fundamental to school food.With the institutional framework in mind the thesis also describes different organizationalactivities connected to school food. Thus the thesis involves four geographical levels: Theregional (EU), the national, the local and the individual level. The latter is defined in theorganized context from a number of individual professionals. Some of these individuals arefurther considered as so called street level bureaucrats – officials sandwiched between superiorsand their clients.

The thesis builds a conceptual framework based on institutional, organizational and streetlevel theory together with policy analysis. Methodologically the thesis is formed around andcarried out as a local case study through a number of semi-structured qualitative interviews.The empirical and analytical part of the thesis is further structured around the three theoreticalconcepts. From the thesis´ purpose three guiding questions were outlined.

The main implications of the thesis are that a number of factors were found to be involvedin the policy implementation. The most significant factors for the policy implementation arefirstly the formulation of the political goal, and secondly the individual professionals actuallybuying the food for the schools. As long as the policy of the school food is non-forcing (i.e. anaverage aim of the public sector, and not included in the legislation) the final outcome of thefood depends on the decisions made by the buyer.

There is disagreement of the policy intention and of whether organic food is more sustainablethan other food. Thus I end the thesis by suggesting a change of concepts if the politicalaim is to reach sustainability. I encourage a system to control the food´s total ecological footprint.This would be achieved by formulating the policy around a suggested level of the ecologicalfootprint. The level would be calculated and set where experts say it´s in accordancewith sustainable development. From this the street level bureaucrats can sum up the componentsof the lunch they buy and serve. No matter if the individual product is labeled organic,local, conventional, or…

This would – according to me – improve the chances for Växjö actually to live up to itslogo: the greenest city in Europe. At least this idea could awake a debate.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Kulturgeografiska institutionen, Uppsala universitet , 2011. , 125 p.
Keyword [en]
policy implementation, institutional framework, organization, street level bureaucracy, organic food, sustainable development, Växjö
National Category
Human Geography
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-152163ISBN: 978-91-506-2214-0OAI: diva2:412735
Ekonomikum, Uppsala (Swedish)
Opposition kl. 13.15Available from: 2011-05-11 Created: 2011-04-26 Last updated: 2011-05-11Bibliographically approved

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