Here we present AgriFood Economics' four areas of research.


The agricultural policies of the EU have become more market oriented and agricultural support is being provided without demands for any production. Production is determined by consumer demand; although the objectives of the policies are still intact, they are becoming increasingly dubious. Today, the Union consists of 27 countries with different opinions on what needs to be prioritized.

Agriculture has a pervasive influence on land use and therefore on environmental quality. The effects of agriculture on the environment can be positive, for example when agriculture preserves biodiversity, or negative, when agriculture causes pollution. Recognition of agricultures’ pervasive effects on the environment has resulted in large amounts of tax payers’ money being channeled to the sector for environmental protection.

AgriFood analyzes agricultural policies and related issues with the effective use of resources as a starting point. For example, what is the efficiency of different environmental policies related to the agricultural sector? Are there any reasons why politics are conducted at an EU level and what are the consequences of different reform proposals such as transfers of money from the single payment scheme to rural development measures?

AgriFood also evaluates the consequences of events in the world at large for Swedish agriculture.  For example, is protection of the environment or animal welfare weaker in other countries than in Sweden? Are new animal diseases being spread and are we affected by WTO decisions?


Since the food industry is one of the largest in Sweden and food products are an important part of everyone’s life, they are frequently debated in the media by politicians and the public. It is also an industry that is constantly changing, not least due to technological progress and the fact that it has become exposed to competition from the international market. Furthermore, it is closely related to agriculture and the retail sector, which makes it interesting to follow the whole chain from “farm to fork”. The development in one part of the chain affects the other parts since they are largely integrated.

AgriFood analyses several aspects of regulations related to food. Labeling requirements, competition within the retail sector, barriers to international trade and the demand for food safety are examples of factors that affect the competitive conditions of the Swedish food industry and the quality and prices demanded by consumers. The starting point is to problemize and illustrate the economic consequences of such measures, not just for Swedish consumers, businesses and agriculture but also for the rest of Swedish society and people in other countries.


The problems of the European fisheries policies are widely known to the public, politicians and researchers. The awareness of the problems in combination with reforms of the common fisheries policy opens up possibilities of effective change. This calls for clear objectives and effective instruments to reverse the process.

AgriFood is also engaged in analyzing fisheries, the departure point being that fishing is an economic activity where calculations of businesses are the determinants of the behavior of the fishery sector. This gives us an explanation of the current situation as well as the tools to guide us towards a solution. An economic starting point also makes it possible to analyze different effects of fishery management measures on fisheries; how is profitability affected, how are small-scale fisheries influenced, and how can we expect the fishing fleet to develop?

Although professional fisheries are central to the debate, it is important to look at fisheries as part of a larger system. Recreational fisheries and businesses based on recreational fishing have considerable economic value and fish stocks are a vital part of the ecological systems of the oceans.

Rural Areas

Rural areas consist of more than agriculture, and an increasing share of the EU budget is directed towards the environment and to stimulating economic and social development. Furthermore, a number of new challenges have been identified where farms and businesses in rural areas could play an important part. These are climate change, renewable energy, management of water resources and preservation of biological diversity.

AgriFood’s analyses take into account the problems and conditions of rural areas, and evaluate measures that can be used to attend effectively to the new challenges. AgriFood also takes part in the evaluations of Swedish rural development programs, which contain support of measures to protect biological diversity, to produce renewable energy and to manage water resources.

In addition, AgriFood continuously works on developing methods for economic evaluation and adapting these to problems identified in previous evaluations.

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