Tuesday 6
How to enhance agrifood resilience? - Operationalising resilience approaches
Helena Kahiluoto, Karoliina Rimhanen, Miia Kuisma
› 15:45 - 16:40 (55min)
Determinants of resilience in dairy systems
Karoliina Rimhanen  1, *@  , Miia Kuisma  2@  , Hanna Mäkinen  3@  , Helena Kahiluoto  2@  
1 : MTT Agrifood Research Finland  (MTT)  -  Website
Latokartanonkaari 9, FI-00790 Helsinki -  Finlande
2 : MTT Agrifood Research Finland  (MTT)  -  Website
Lönnrotinkatu 5, FI-50100 Mikkeli -  Finlande
3 : MTT Agrifood Research Finland  (MTT)  -  Website
Vakolantie 55, FI-03400, Vihti -  Finlande
* : Corresponding author

An optional session: How to enhance agrifood resilience? -Operationalising resilience approaches 

Managing resilience requires understanding the essential components and functions of the social-ecological systems (SES) in concern, and how they reflect in the type of changes of interest. Identification of the determinants of system ability to maintain key functions and to take advantage of new opportunities is the starting point (Gitz and Meybeck 2012). Social structures substantially influence the capacity of SES to tolerate and adapt to change (Janssen et al. 2006). Capacity to compensate critical functions increases flexibility and independence of the system from other actors, whose function may change (Olsson et al. 2004). A wide supply network for example can give leeway for a company when prices of inputs rise or fluctuate due to global change. Capacity to adapt and transform, when changes prevent operation in the existing conditions, requires diverse actor network as well as economic, social and cultural capital (Folke et al. 2010). In recent years the operational environment of dairy production has run up with changes in policy, prices and tightening competition. The aim of this study is to identify factors that enhance the capacity of dairy systems to tolerate, recover from and adapt to change and variation and to transform operations, e.g. by changing the method of production, when perturbation prevents the operation in existing system. The following hypotheses were posed: 1) Weather variation, price volatility of products and uncertainty of cropland availability are the most important factors threatening the performance of the system, 2) Independence of input markets, and market price increase and volatility improve the performance of the system, 3) Availability of capital and flexible investments enhance system reorganization to recover from shocks and adapt to change and variation, 4) Social networks founded on trust and partnerships enhance the ability of a system to transform operations if needed and learn from experiences, 5) High interaction and feedbacks among suppliers, buyers and the sources of information, and existence of alternative actors enhance the performance of the system. The study is carried out in two dairy systems in both Finland and Russia, Leningrad oblast, in regions which are nationally important for dairy product supply. The studied systems represent a broad spectrum of dairy systems with various production and market conditions, production volume and infrastructure. The data is collected conducting interviews at farm, milk processor and retail trade levels. A conceptual model of the identified factors at social, economic and biophysical dimensions will be presented.


Folke, C., Carpenter, S. R., Walker, B., Scheffer, M., Chapin, T., Rockström, J.. 2010. Ecology and Society 15 (4): 20.

Gitz, V., Meybeck, A. 2012. In: Meybeck, A., Lankoski, J., Redfern, S., Azzu, N., Gitz, V. Building resilience for adaptation to climate change in the agriculture sector. Proceedings of a Joint FAO/OECD Workshop. Rome.

Janssen, M.A., Bodin, Ö., Anderies, J.M., Elmqvist, T., Ernstson, H., McAllister, R.R.J., Olsson, P., Ryan, P., 2006. Ecology and Society 11 (1): 15.

Olsson, P., Folke, C., Berkes, F., 2004. Environmental Management 34: 75–90.

Online user: 1 RSS Feed