Concerned Markets

Concerned Markets

Economic Ordering for Multiple Values

Edited by Susi Geiger, Debbie Harrison, Hans Kjellberg and Alexandre Mallard

When political, social, technological and economic interests, values, and perspectives interact, market order and performance become contentious issues of debate. Such ‘hot’ situations are becoming increasingly common and make for rich sites of research. With expert empirical contributions investigating the organization of such ‘concerned’ markets, this book is positioned at the centre of the rapidly growing area of interdisciplinary market studies. Markets investigated include those for palm oil, primary health care and functional foods. The authors also examine markets and environmental concerns as well as better market design for those at the bottom of the pyramid.

Chapter 9: Doing green: environmental concerns and the realization of green values in everyday food practices

Hans Kjellberg and Ingrid Stigzelius

Subjects: business and management, marketing, organisation studies, economics and finance, institutional economics, social policy and sociology, sociology and sociological theory

Extract

Consumers are increasingly challenged to take into account the environmental effects of the food they consume (Halkier, 2010). For instance, the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency estimated that activities related to eating generated 20 per cent of all Swedish greenhouse gas emissions in 2003 (Naturvardsverket, 2008). Given the recent conclusion of the IPCC that ‘[l]imiting climate change will require substantial and sustained reductions of greenhouse gas emissions’ (IPCC Working group 1, 2013, p. 14), the need to ‘do green’ in relation to food is likely to become further pronounced in coming years. Meanwhile, there are already multiple scripts available (cf. Akrich, 1992; Shove and Araujo, 2010), which tell consumers what and how to eat to become ‘green’ food consumers. Such scripts can be found in policy documents, food recipes, green apps, eco-labels and so on. For example, governments in the Nordic countries have sought to guide consumers in making greener food choices by emphasizing their important role in steering production and consumption towards sustainability (Micheletti and Isenhour, 2010). There are also scripts that go beyond buying and eating to address how household spaces are designed for food storage, cooking and recycling. Together, these scripts reflect multiple dimensions of environmental concern, including organic production, local production and reduced carbon footprint. However, since food consumption also encompasses other normative concerns, such as thrift, health, pleasure and care for others, environmental concerns add ambiguity and complexity into everyday life (Halkier, 2001; Kline, 2011; …stberg, 2003).

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