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The Future Of Milk In The Light Of The Agricultural Policy Changes Towards 2025 – A Delphi Study On Future Challenges Of The Finnish Milk Sector


  • Rikkonen, Pasi
  • Aakkula, Jyrki
  • Rajaniemi, Mari


The production of milk is facing major challenges in the coming reforms of Common Agricultural policy (CAP). At the same time the global market demand for refined milk products is changing mostly because of increasing welfare in Asian market (China, India). These EU and global level changes affect Finnish agriculture in many ways. In this paper the focus is on the future of milk production in Northern perspective studied with one of the futures studies method, the Delphi method. The Delphi method aims to identify and explore alternative future possibilities, their probabilities of occurrence, and their desirability by tapping into the expertise of respondents. The studied themes in the Delphi questionnaires were defined according to their policy relevancy. The themes were 1) the structural change of milk production 2) the agricultural policy changes 3) the changes in milk market and national economy 4) the changes in technology, production processes and know-how and 5) the changes in consumption and in societal values. These themes interact closely with each other, and therefore they are interpreted as a whole to capture a holistic view on the future milk production in Finland. We produce alternative future images for the milk sector in Finland between 2007 and 2025 based on views and argumentation of the Delphi panel experts. The first round of the Delphi study was carried out by structured questionnaire (internet survey) including five face-to-face interviews and the second feedback round followed the same procedure. The panel consisted of 30 national experts familiar with the milk sector. The future images of the milk sector are constructed and related policy choices are recognized by analysing major driving forces and directions of development in terms of their importance, likelihood and desirability. An analytical framework to assess strategic decision-making challenges is outlined and key issues to be taken into account in the future policy design are identified. The derived future images give a clear picture about policy challenges and alternative development paths that the milk sector as well as the CAP has to be prepared to cope with by the year 2025.

Suggested Citation

  • Rikkonen, Pasi & Aakkula, Jyrki & Rajaniemi, Mari, 2008. "The Future Of Milk In The Light Of The Agricultural Policy Changes Towards 2025 – A Delphi Study On Future Challenges Of The Finnish Milk Sector," 109th Seminar, November 20-21, 2008, Viterbo, Italy 44794, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:eaa109:44794

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Arild Vatn, 2002. "Multifunctional agriculture: some consequences for international trade regimes," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 29(3), pages 309-327, July.
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    More about this item


    Future of the CAP; Delphi Study; Milk; Agricultural and Food Policy; Q18;

    JEL classification:

    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy

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