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Resilience and Adaptability Capacity in the Danish Agriculture and Food System: Continuity and Change

Sevasti Chatzopoulou (Roskilde University, Denmark)
Kostas Karantininis (Department of People & Society, SLU, Sweden)

Public Governance in Denmark

ISBN: 978-1-80043-713-5, eISBN: 978-1-80043-712-8

Publication date: 23 February 2022


Being constantly exposed to emerging economic and environmental challenges and other external shocks, such as the recent pandemic, agrifood systems must be resilient and adaptive. The Danish AgriFood System (DAFS) adopted a number of organisational changes in response to environmental demands and external shocks, both in the sector and the management by public authorities, leading to the development of new strategies and instruments. The DAFS has demonstrated an ability to anticipate, to be proactive and to recover quickly from difficulties, exhibiting remarkable resilience and the capacity to adapt and to position itself as a frontrunner in sustainable agrifood. In this process, the organisational institutional settings play a prominent role, where public and private actors interact and coordinate their activities, develop synergies and resolve conflicts within collaborative governance structures. The DAFS provides four interlinked and equally important success stories worth emulating: governance, cooperation, professionalism and social capital. Governance structures incorporating the state-administration-agrifood sector in close collaboration provide the necessary institutional conditions for adaptation and the accommodation of new solutions to emerging problems. Integrated cooperative organisation ensures the fair distribution of the added value and enables the resolution of conflicts and consensus-driven decisions. High levels of expertise and professionalism support the sector to identify new strategies and viable innovative solutions in the long term, responding to new demands while remaining competitive by promoting and externalising sector interests. Strong social capital binds everything together and ensures sustainability and resilience.



Chatzopoulou, S. and Karantininis, K. (2022), "Resilience and Adaptability Capacity in the Danish Agriculture and Food System: Continuity and Change", Krogh, A.H., Agger, A. and Triantafillou, P. (Ed.) Public Governance in Denmark, Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 169-188.



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