Sustainability aspects of the low-key bioeconomies


Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding (ISBN)peer-review


This paper discusses the bioeconomic processes of small production and small distribution modes in East Yorkshire, UK. In particular, the focus is on whether and how this small-scale bioeconomy is connected to sustainable practices and in what way those practices are supporting the local ecosystems, including the human ones. The paper is related to the wider debate about the character of the bioeconomy as a sustainability initiative. We take a critical position concerning this issue. We do not consider the bioeconomy in general as an inherently sustainable way for organising production and distribution of goods and services. Within this framework, we investigate in our research project, whether small production and small distribution as bioeconomic processes include any practices that can support both environmental and social sustainability. The paper (part of the Research England
funded THYME project, dedicated to the bioeconomy in the North East of England) focuses on farmers’ markets in the East Riding of Yorkshire. Using data from interviews and observations we present and discuss findings about the local small markets and how the producers, traders or even consumers involved with them are linking their market activity to greater sustainability efforts. The major finding is that at least the food part of the small markets in East Yorkshire is very locally embedded. The nomadic character of the market traders and producers means that locally produced goods reach small places without the customers needing to concentrate in a nearby big trade centre, like a city market or a big supermarket. At the same time, the traders and producers try to avoid wasting produce as much as possible by adopting various practices, including sharing, non-monetary distribution and donations.
The paper contributes to the discussions related to SDGs 2 (zero hunger), 11 (sustainable cities and communities), 12 (responsible consumption and production), 13 (climate action).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAccelerating the progress towards 2030 SDGs in times of crisis
Subtitle of host publication27th International Sustainable Development Research Society Conference Proceedings (refereed)
EditorsCatrin Johansson, Volker Mauerhofer
Place of PublicationÖstersund
PublisherMittuniversitetet - Mid Sweden University
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2021


Dive into the research topics of 'Sustainability aspects of the low-key bioeconomies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this