Investments are more than money: emerging investment rationales and farmers in the Danish agri-food system

Martin Hvarregaard Thorsøe*, Egon Bjørnshave Noe


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Danish and European farming increasingly depends on external investments due to a surge in farmland prices, capital intensive production facilities and structural development. In response, the land market has been deregulated giving external investors access to ownership of Danish farmland. Based on farming systems theory, this article explores the impacts of this policy reform. We identify four emerging investment rationales: 1) family business, 2) investment object, 3) social and ecological finance and 4) value-chain cooperation. We argue that the emergence of these new investment rationales reflects a fundamental change in financial conditions; today investors are more involved in asset management and use a range of new devises, such as benchmarking tools, farm advisory boards and contracts, to observe the performance of farming systems and to allocate funding. However, changing conditions are also the result of an evolving agri-food sector, which has deliberately pursued a growth strategy characterised by capital intensive mergers and expansion, financed by external investments. For agri-food studies this implies that the boundaries of farming systems are broadened and the individual farmer cannot be the sole entrance to the analysis, but this financialization constitute a new reality that increasingly need to be considered.

TidsskriftJournal of Rural Studies
Antal sider9
StatusUdgivet - jul. 2023

Bibliografisk note

Funding Information:
This work was funded under the EU grant agreement no. 635577, H2020-SFS-2014-2 (SUFISA: Sustainable finance for sustainable agriculture and fisheries).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023


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