Justice in Finnish Food Policies

Antti Puupponen, Suvi Huttunen, Teea Kortetmäki, Anu Lähteenmäki-Uutela & Minna Kaljonen
Food Ethics
Resource type:
Peer review

The need to create more sustainable food systems calls for careful attention to justice in making the transition. However, to achieve a just transition and create policies to support the goal of developing sustainable food systems, we need more knowledge of the ways current policies tackle justice. This knowledge can reveal blind spots and development needs and increase the transparency of potentially conflicting goals, which is essential for designing just transition policies. From the normative perspective of food justice, a food system should produce three principal outcomes: food security and nutrition, livelihoods and fair income, and environmental sustainability. In this article, we take these outcomes as the starting point to study how they relate to the distributive, procedural, and recognitive aspects of food justice in the context of Finnish food policies.

The data consist of Finnish policy strategies relating to the national food system and data from interviews with experts involved in the policy processes. The results suggest that food security and farmer livelihoods have dominated justice related considerations at the cost of environmental sustainability. Although these are important for distributive justice and for recognising vulnerabilities, the current setting reveals risks regarding the possibilities of transitioning to a low-carbon food system. The invisibility of the often-invisible groups is also notable in the policy documents. To promote justice more broadly, there should be greater emphasis on environmental sustainability as well as procedural and recognitive justice and opportunities for diverse people to participate in food policymaking.

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This resource has been peer reviewed