Accepted paper:

Inclusive biobased innovation for sustainability: a case study in Jamaica

Authors:

Zoe Robaey (Delft University of Technology)
Lotte Asveld (Delft University of Technology)

Paper short abstract:

The bioeconomy promises a vision of a sustainable society based on principles of the circular economy. A blind spot in many biobased value chains are the place and practices of biomass producers, i.e. farmers. We combine STS, RRI, and VSD approaches to suggest an inclusive model for resource-making.

Paper long abstract:

The bioeconomy promises a vision of a sustainable society based on complex technologies and biomass. A blind spot in many biobased value chains are the place and practices of biomass producers, i.e. farmers. We combine science and technology studies (STS), responsible research and innovation (RRI), and values sensitive design (VSD) approaches to suggest an inclusive model for resource-making.

Present business models for biorefineries and production of chemicals and biofuels depend on low feedstock costs and reliable supply. At the same time, sustainable biomass production needs changes in agricultural practices that add value for biomass producers. Reconciling these targets requires alignment and inclusion of actors. Such alignment is guided by explication of values on equity, sustainability, and trust.

This leads to the question: how can biobased value chains be designed to secure sustainable supply of bioresources, improve agricultural management and align farmers' values, interests, knowledge and concerns with the socio-economic and technical requirements of other partners in the chain?

To answer this question, our project compares four case studies in the US, Brazil, South Africa and Jamaica. In these case-studies we map various relevant actors and their particular interests, perspectives and practices through interviews and field observation to identify structural and local specific challenges.

In this presentation we will discuss the Jamaica case. Based on this case we will explicate a model for the improved inclusion of farmers in commercial biobased value chains.

panel A09
Encounters with and for circular economy initiatives