THE PIG MULTIPLE - valuing the Danish pig

Student thesis: Master Thesis and HD Thesis

  • Jonas Tonndorff
  • Anders Nicolajsen
Like perhaps no other domesticated animal, the pig has had the greatest impact on Danish society and culture. The role of pork as a integral part in many important Danish holiday meals and traditional dishes cannot be understated. Furthermore, the production of Danish pigs is one of the largest agricultural exports of Denmark, and is considered to be amongst the best in the world. Despite this, the general perception of pork is declining in Denmark, and many consider the products to be of low value. Especially foodservice professionals such as chefs, are increasingly turning their backs on Danish pork. But what is the cause of this perception and and what can be done to turn this trend around? Before these questions can be answered, we first need to understand what makes the pig valuable for different actors. The aim of this project is therefore to understand the different enactments that constitutes value in regards to the Danish pig. This was achieved through interviews with different actors and observations in both piggeries and at industry workshops. These actors varied from farmers and chefs to CEO´s and consultants within the pig industry. Furthermore, opponents of the production were represented by Animal Protection Denmark (APD). This thesis was initially inspired by a meeting with the Danish Food and Agriculture Council (L&F), where a new campaign focusing on increasing the value of Danish pork, specifically within foodservice in Denmark, was presented. Our interviews and observations revealed the field to be immensely complex with actors enacting and perceiving the pig in widely different ways. Drawing upon theoretical inspiration from esteemed scientists such as Annemarie Mol, Frank Heuts and John Law, this research seeks to understand the multiplicity of the pig and its enactments, expressed within the field. Within our analysis, central themes, impacting the enactments of the pig, such as efficiency, world leadership and craftsmanship, were discovered and explored further. As a final note, this research does not seek to provide concrete answers on how to increase the perceived value of the Danish pig, but rather to seek to understand why and how the pig is enacted differently by the actors.
Publication date30 May 2018
Number of pages184
ID: 280210424