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Full case study report: Ekolådan - Sweden

Milestad, Rebecka and von Oelreich, Jacob (2015) Full case study report: Ekolådan - Sweden. KTH - Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm .

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Ekolådan (EL) is a vegetable and fruit box-scheme run by Stiftelsen Biodynamiska Produkter (SBP) at Järna (40 km southwest of Stockholm), a non-profit foundation aimed at “providing consumers with organic and biodynamic food of high quality, in a way that gives growers the possibility to continue to develop” (Ekolådan, 2014a). EL was started by SBP as a project in 2002 and the first boxes were delivered in autumn 2003. The boxes delivered by EL contain only organic or biodynamic produce, and SBP is a fully organically certified business. In spring 2014 approximately 2,600 boxes were delivered to consumers (including workplaces) every week, and this number was the same in January 2015. The overall value chain is comprised of the farmers delivering fruit and vegetables to EL, EL/SBP, and consumers. EL can be understood as a “division” within SBP (EL1), which is the overarching business and decision making unit. EL has two aims: to provide organic/biodynamic fruit and vegetables to consumers, and to provide favourable long-term conditions for organic/biodynamic farmers. After buying the fruit and vegetables from farmers, EL alone has control over the rest of the value chain, until the produce boxes are delivered to the doors of consumers. The fruit and vegetables for the boxes are purchased regionally, nationally and from abroad. Figure 1. Map of Sweden and the county of Södermanland (just south of the Greater Stockholm region). On the county map, Järna is underlined and the Greater Stockholm region (to the top right) is where most of Ekolådan’s boxes are delivered. EL is interesting in the Healthygrowth project for several reasons. First, box-schemes are a relatively new phenomenon in Sweden, it is a small market and organic box-schemes are still rare. Homedelivery of food in boxes or “grocery bags” is dominated by non-organic businesses. Second, EL provides an interesting case since it expanded from zero to 4,500 boxes/week between 2003 and 2009. Then, in connection with the economic crisis, it rapidly declined to approximately half that level, where the number of boxes stabilized, gradually to increase again to around 2,600 boxes (2015). This provides a good case of growth, rapid decline, stabilization and rebound. Third, EL is different from all other actors on the box-scheme market in Sweden in being run by a not-for-profit foundation, aimed at supporting both farmers and consumers. Fourth, in the context of an increasing 2 demand for organic food in the Stockholm metropolitan area, it is interesting to follow the development of EL, as the only mid-scale organic box-scheme initiative in the region run by a foundation. Fifth, the EL box-scheme is an interesting case as it delivers products from several of Sweden’s very few biodynamic farmers to consumers.

EPrint Type:Report
Subjects: Food systems > Food security, food quality and human health
Food systems > Markets and trade
Values, standards and certification > Consumer issues
Food systems > Produce chain management
Research affiliation: European Union > CORE Organic II > HealthyGrowth
Related Links:http://www.healthygrowth.eu
Deposited By: Christensen, Jytte
ID Code:29251
Deposited On:11 Aug 2015 08:35
Last Modified:11 Aug 2015 08:37
Document Language:English
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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