Finnish dairy farmers’ perceptions of justice in the transition to carbon-neutral farming

Antti Puupponen, Annika Lonkila, Anni Savikurki, Kaisa Karttunen, Anna Ott, Suvi Huttunen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Environmental and political debate concerning the role of agriculture in sustainability has long been on the agenda. However, owing to climate change, an analysis of the transition to a low-carbon society must also be considered from the perspective of justice. Dairy farming, in particular, faces pressure in this context, when contemplating changing consumer behaviors and reduction in the carbon footprint of dairy products. Accordingly, many dairy farmers are struggling with the profitability and high production costs of farming. This study examines the experiences and perceptions of dairy farmers in Finland. The theoretical background is predicated upon the “just transition” literature. Additionally, recent literature regarding farmers' attitudes and agency, related to climate and environmental change, is utilized. A collaborative, empirical study of the Finnish dairy co-op Valio Ltd.‘s carbon-neutral milk chain program was conducted. The authors interviewed 18 dairy farmers and examined their motivations and barriers to carbon-neutral practices. Their experiences and perceptions of justice, in the context of a carbon-neutral milk chain, were studied. This study elucidates how to shift to carbon-neutral agriculture in such a way that dairy farmers perceive this systemic change as justified and acceptable. The results indicate that from the farmers' perspective, three key justice issues need consideration: 1) profitability of farming, 2) blaming of farmers, and 3) use of agricultural peatlands.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104-112
JournalJournal of Rural Studies
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022
Externally publishedYes
MoEC publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Carbon-neutral farming
  • Dairy farming
  • Agricultural peatlands
  • Blaming farmers
  • Farming profitability
  • just transition


Dive into the research topics of 'Finnish dairy farmers’ perceptions of justice in the transition to carbon-neutral farming'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Citation for this output