Sustainability-oriented innovation in agri-food systems: A case study of the New Zealand aquaculture industry

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dc.contributor.advisor Little, V en Ha, Sophia en 2018-09-27T03:09:40Z en 2018 en
dc.identifier.uri en
dc.description Available to authenticated members of The University of Auckland. en
dc.description.abstract This research focuses on sustainability-oriented innovation (SOI) in agri-food systems. Current agri-food systems are unsustainable, exacerbating resource depletion, biodiversity loss, and greenhouse gas emissions. Transition must therefore be achieved to more sustainable forms, and innovation is critical to that project. However, current SOI literature focuses at the firm rather than systems level, and on technology rather than the impact of technology on social systems. This thesis responds to this gap in understanding by employing the multi-level perspective (MLP) to investigate SOI in agri-food systems at three levels: (1) Macro (institutional and cultural), (2) Meso (industry practices), and (3) Micro (firms and consumers). A single case study of the New Zealand aquaculture industry informs the research. In recent decades, global aquaculture has evolved from traditional practice to industrial science. However, in New Zealand, aquaculture is a relatively recent phenomenon, enabling the study of an agri-food industry from the outset. Methods and source triangulation is supported by 11 in-depth interviews of industry producers, regulators and expert observers, a seven-month participant observation of the activities of a global industry consulting group, and analysis of multiple secondary data sources. Three themes emerged: Born Green, Social Licence to Operate, and Uncertainty & Risk. New Zealand aquaculture emerged in the 1990s. The Resource Management Act ensured environmental concerns were addressed from the outset. Regulatory licence to operate, however, does not ensure social licence to operate (SLO). Public misconceptions about environmental impact, lack of positive industry visibility, and internal industry conflict exacerbate this problem. Industry expansion is constrained through social pressure to reduce consented farming space. However, expansion is critical to industry development. Consequently, industry players operate under conditions of risk and uncertainty, constraining investment in transformational (i.e. SOI-oriented) innovation. In conclusion, macro-level influences (SLO and regulation) act as a lock-in mechanism constraining SOI actors in the aquaculture agri-food system. To address this lock-in, industry players should work with government and social actors to create shared value for both internal and external stakeholders, using technology as a platform. en
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof Masters Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.relation.isreferencedby UoA99265119310902091 en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Previously published items are made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. en
dc.rights Restricted Item. Available to authenticated members of The University of Auckland. en
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dc.rights.uri en
dc.title Sustainability-oriented innovation in agri-food systems: A case study of the New Zealand aquaculture industry en
dc.type Thesis en Bioscience Enterprise en The University of Auckland en Masters en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The author en
pubs.elements-id 753661 en
pubs.record-created-at-source-date 2018-09-27 en

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