BERAS publications

Sustainable agriculture within the Baltic Sea Region

Sustainable agriculture


Resilience of our ecosystems is at stake. Despite various measures the eutrophication of the Baltic Sea is not decreasing and the resilience of multiple ecosystems is at stake. In this situation business as usual is not an option. New approaches are needed creating a safe operating space within the environmental boundaries. BERAS develops and implements practical examples where innovation and entrepreneurship from a multi sectorial engagement flows into realistic fully integrated ecological alternatives for the whole food chain from farmer to consumer.

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Farming for the Future – with a focus on the Baltic Sea Region

Farming for the future


In this book Artur Granstedt, Ph.D. in Agronomics and Associate Professor at Södertörn University, Sweden, and Coordinator of BERAS, the Baltic Sea project at the University, describes how ecologically adapted farming based on local recycling and renewable energy sources can reduce the eutrophication of the Baltic Sea and even help to reduce global warming. Widespread conversion to organic farming methods would furthermore stop the spread of toxic chemicals on farmland, benefit biodiversity and stimulate social and economic development in rural areas in the Baltic Sea region. The book starts with a description of the ecosystems that support the health of the biosphere – terrestrial and marine, the climate, and global food production. Granstedt also gives a historical overview of agricultural practices, noting the various ways in which human activity alters the natural order of things and, if we are not mindful, can deplete the resources that support our existence. But he also gives examples of how we can turn negative trends to the better, how we can restore fertility to the soil and bring depleted land to bloom once again and produce nourishing food that can feed the world.

Artur Granstedt writes on the basis of decades of experience as an organic farmer, researcher, adviser and teacher of ecologically sustainable agriculture. The book reports the results of field trials and evaluations on farms in eight countries around the Baltic Sea that were conducted in the project, Baltic Ecological Regenerative Agriculture and Society(BERAS). This comprehensive project, which was supported in part by funding from the European Union, is now continuing in an implementation phase, focusing on how agriculture throughout the region can be converted to profitable and ecologically sustainable methods of production.

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Conversion to Ecological Recycling Agriculture and Society – Environmental, economic and sociological assessments and scenarios

Conversion to ERA


This report gathers the scientific results of the environmental, economic and sociological assessments and scenarios within the BERAS Implementation project. It includes theoretical frameworks, production models and evaluations of the conversion process based on a number of ERA case studies. Environmental impacts of farming systems, economic perspectives on conversion as well as policy recommendations for supporting a shift to ERA are presented.






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BERAS - For people who eat food

 BERAS For people who eat foodAre we eating our planet?

According to the UN, the food sector is responsible for 50% of the global climate change. The main problem is how we produce our food.

With today’s industrialised agriculture we destroy our fertile land and threaten biodiversity of plants and animals. This means that ecosystems, which all life depends on, disappear.

To feed the world we need to use our resources more carefully. More than half of our agricultural land is used for meat production. This consumes land, water and energy, often in areas that used to be covered by rainforest. Industrialised animal farms also produce huge amounts of manure that are not returned to the soil, but leak out into lakes and seas and cause dead sea beds. This type of intensive meat production threatens animal welfare, the environment and the possibility to produce enough food for everyone.

The food sector today is also totally dependent on non-renewable fossil fuels. They are used to produce artificial fertilisers, when we instead

could use natural fertilisers provided by the farm. We transport our food and fodder for animals around the entire globe, which adds to greenhouse gas emissions.

We are in fact eating our planet. What can we do to change this?

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Sustainable Food Societies - Information Centres and Farms

SFS report final


Sustainable Food Societies are examples of local food clusters that are socially just, environmentally friendly and economically viable.







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BERAS Implementation – Agriculture for a Sustainable Future

Beras Implementation Agriculture for a sustainable future 

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Reports from BERAS 2003-2006

The results from research carried out in BERAS project (2003-2006) form the basis for the current BERAS Implementation project (2010-2013) and are made available in seven reports. These reports together with an executive summary can be accessed below.

BERAS Executive Summary

Granstedt. A. 2007. Baltic Ecological Recycling Agriculture and Society (BERAS) Executive Summary  

BERAS Report nr 1

Sepännen, L (ed.). July 2004. Local and Organic Food and Farming around the Baltic Sea. Ekologiskt lantbruk nr 40. 

BERAS Report nr 2

Granstedt, A., Seuri, P. and Thomsson, O.. December 2004. Effective recycling agriculture around the Baltic Sea. Ekologiskt lantbruk nr 41.

BERAS Report nr 3

Sumelius, J. (Ed). 2005. Possibilities for and Economic Consequences of Switching to Local Economical studies within WP3. Ecological Recycling Agriculture. Ekologiskt lantbruk nr 43

BERAS Report nr 4

Kakriainen, S., von Essen H. (ed.). Augusti 2005. Obstacles and Solutions in Use of Local and Organic Food. Ekologiskt lantbruk nr 44.

BERAS Report nr 5

Granstedt, A., Thomsson, O. and Schneider, T. January 2006. Environmental Impacts of Ecological Food Systems – Final Report from BERAS. Ekologiskt lantbruk nr 46.

BERAS Report nr 6

Sumelius, J. & Vesala, K.M. (eds.). December 2005. Approaches to Social Sustainability in Alternative Food Systems. Ekologiskt lantbruk nr 47.

BERAS Report nr 7

Kahiluoto, H., Berg, P.G. , Granstedt, A., Fisher, H. & Thomsson, O June 2006. The Power of Local – Sustainable Food Systems Around the Baltic Sea. Ekologiskt lantbruk Eds.

BERAS related peer-reviewed publications

Granstedt, A., Schneider, T., Seuri, P. and Thomsson, O. 2008. Ecological Recycling Agriculture to Reduce Nutrient Pollution to the Baltic Sea. Journal Biological Agriculture and Horticulture, 26(3) 279-307.

Granstedt, A. & Kjellenberg, L. 2008. Organic and biodynamic cultivation – a possible way of increasing humus capital, improving soil fertility and be a significant carbon sink in Nordic conditions. Second Scientific ISOFAR Conference in Modena 18-20 June 2008.

Granstedt, A., Tyburskij, J., Stalenga J. 2007. Nutrient Balances in Organic Farms. Baltic Sea project BERAS (Baltic Ecological Recycling Agriculture and Society), results from Poland. In: Scientific Agricultural conference Poznan August, 2007.

Granstedt, A. 2000. Increasing the efficiency of plant nutrient recycling within the agricultural system as a way of reducing nutrient pollution to the Baltic Sea. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 1570 (2000) 1–17. Elsevier Science B.V. Amsterdam

Granstedt, A., L-Baeckström, G. 2000. Studies of the preceding crop effect of leys in ecological agriculture. American Journal of Alternative Agriculture, vol. 15, no. 2, pages 68–78. Washington University.

Granstedt, A. 1995. Studies on the flow supply and losses of nitrogen and other plant nutrients in conventional and ecological agricultural systems in Sweden. Biological Agriculture and Horticulture. vol. 11, 51–67.

Granstedt A. 1992. Case studies on the flow and supply of nitrogen in alternative farming in Sweden. Biological Agriculture and Horticulture 9:15-63.

Helmfried, H., Haden, A. and Ljung M. 2007. The Role of Action Research (AR) in Environmental Research: Learning from a Local Organic Food and Farming Research Project. Journal Systemic Practice and Action Research.

Larsson, Markus 2012. Environmental Entrepreneurship in Organic Agriculture in Järna, Sweden, Journal of Sustainable Agriculture, 36:2, 153-179.

Larsson, M., Granstedt, A. and Thomsson, O. 2011. Sustainable Food System –Targeting Production Methods, Distribution or Food Basket Content? . In Tech – Organic Food and Agriculture / Book 1.

Larsson, M. and Granstedt, A. 2010. Sustainable governance of the agriculture and the Baltic Sea – agricultural reforms, food production and curbed eutrophication. Ecological Economics, vol. 69, no. 10, 15 August 2010.

Nousiainen, M., Pylkkinen, P., Saunders, F., Seppinen, L., and Vesala, K.M. 2009. Are Alternative Food Systems Socially Sustainable? A Case Study from Finland. Journal of Sustainable Agriculture, Volume 33, Issue 5 July 2009 , pages 566 – 594.

Conference presentations

Resource Efficiency in Ecological Regenerative Agriculture with Dairy Production
IDF World Dairy Summit, Vilnius, Lithuania, September 2015

Conference Manager: Piercristiano Brazzale – Brazzale Spa Company, Orrero a.s. (Italy) Representative of the local Organising Committee: Laima Česonienė – Aleksandras Stulginskis University (Lithuania)

Session 4 – Closing the Nutritional Gap with Sustainable Dairy Increasing Resource Efficiency in Dairy Production: Analysis Along the Supply Chain

Presentation by Artur Granstedt : Migration of Nutrients in the Environment of the European Dairy Sector

Soils and the Food We Eat, May 19-21, 2015
(with support from Stockholms Läns Landsting).
A high level BERAS conference in Ytterjärna, Södertälje, Sweden

Presentations from May 19th:

Jostein Hertwig – CEO, BERAS International

Agr Dr Artur Granstedt – Ecological Regenerative Agriculture (ERA)

Dr Jackie Swartz – Organic/biodynamic diet and allergic sensitization in childhood

Presentations from May 20th:

Gunnar Rundgren, Co-Author of the 2013 UN Report “Wake up before it is too late – make agriculture truly sustainable now for food security in a changing climate”.

Agr Dr Artur Granstedt – Ecological Regenerative Agriculture (ERA)

Dr. S. Natarajan/Dr. K. Perumal (India) – BERAS International outlook- India

Dr. César López (Dominican Republic) – The Caribbean Region

Johan Ununger, CEO Saltå Kvarn & board member, Organic Sweden – Business sector approach to the Diet for a Green Planet concept

Helena Nordlund, the Diet Unit, Södertälje Municipality – Transformation of public meals – food as a driver for sustainable development

Sara Jervfors, Head of the Diet Unit, Södertälje Municipality – Transformation of public meals – food as a driver for sustainable development

Presentations from May the 21st:

C B Kavishe – Agriculture in Babati – Tanzania

C B Kavishe – The Food Chain in Babati – Tanzania

Father Clement – Soil to Oil Model Farming – India

ISS Sevapur – India

Lucas Dengel – EcoPro Auroville – India

Mahesh Melvin – the Nilgirish _ India

S Seshadri – IFTR – India

Sangita Kamath – DGP in Bangalore Steiner School – India

X International Interdisciplinary Scientific Research Congress – 2014
In Santa Domingo, Dominican Republic

BERAS presentations:

Jostein Hertwig – 13 June 2014
Agr Dr Artur Granstedt – 13 June 2014