Lantmännen's and Ultuna Student Union's "From Field to Fork" scholarship 2023 goes to Ebba Sundström and Joel Jonsson who recently completed their studies within agricultural science at the Swedish University of Agriculture (SLU). They are awarded the scholarship for their thesis, in which they address the challenges of bringing about generational renewals.
"As we are both facing a generational renewal, this topic is close to our hearts and especially interesting to us. It is also an incredibly important challenge, to ensure profitable food production in Sweden – both now and in the future,” explains scholar Ebba Sundström.
The study presents the importance of opportunities for external funding, especially for young people, and compares different financing options that can be used to solve parts of the problem.
"We provide a picture of how farmers and farm owners view the capital raising process in the event of a generational renewal, how a hybrid loan can improve the opportunities to buy arable land and how this solution compares to other financing alternatives,” elaborates scholar Joel Jonsson.
Capital provision to young growing agricultural companies and strengthened profitability on farms are also important parts of Lantmännen's input to the Swedish National Food Strategy 2.0 to create opportunities for increased Swedish food production.
"There is no doubt that successful ownership renewals and increased profitability on our Swedish farms are prerequisites for achieving increased robustness in the Swedish food sector with increased production, lower climate impact and operational adaptations to climate change. Hence, it is very positive that Ebba and Joel have raised the issue of generational renewals, its conditions, and potential solutions in the form of financing models in such a commendable way," says Patrik Myrelid, Head of Strategy at Lantmännen.
"Furthermore, an investment in the agriculture sector is converted many times throughout the full value chain, in terms of both jobs and more Swedish products on the market. Finally, the funding issue does not contain an innovation gap, but it is a matter of political will and decisiveness,” concludes Peter Annas, Director Group R&D and Innovation.
The Field to Fork scholarship is awarded annually and is part of Lantmännen's collaboration with the students at SLU and Ultuna Student Union. The scholarship aims to reward students and alumni associated with SLU-Ultuna for outstanding work that contributes to the development of Sweden's food production and Swedish agricultural companies in a profitable and sustainable way. The scholarship committee consists of ULS's chairman, secretary, inspector and business contacts official as well as two representatives from Lantmännen.
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