Ullgrens sallat En fallstudie av ett framgångsrikt småskaligt odlingsföretag byggt på hantverksmässig kunskap
Ullgrens salad A case study of a successful small-scale farm built on traditional methods
This thesis is a case study of Ullgrens handelsträdgård, a small-scale market garden which successfully produces vegetables, mainly salad, and has done so since 1945. The production is primarily done by hand with a minimum of machinery and without pesticides. Through their many years of experience, the Ullgren family has developed a wide range of skill set and methods which I aim to document, as they can be useful for new professional growers who wish to use traditional methods within a new context. Information regarding the market garden and their methods of growing has been gathered through interviews with one of the owners and his wife. Using terminology from business economics such as the “resource-based view”, I aim to analyse the company’s most important resources, and to see whether they changed over time. The most important resources described in the thesis are, amongst others, the gardeners’ skills and the soil. Ullgrens has put many years of work into their soil, using thick layers of manure to create hot beds from the 1940s to 1990s, the soil now offers perfect conditions for growing salad. Aside from their resources, an important strategy has been to have a close communication with the wholesalers who subsequently sold the produce to restaurants and chefs. This communication has made it possible to adapt to the demands of the final customer and thereby secure competitive advantages. The aim of this thesis is to describe and document tacid knowledge and traditional methods within small-scale farming and to contribute to an increased understanding of the role that small-scale farms could have towards sustainable development. Besides highlighting the environmental benefits of manual and traditional methods the thesis seeks to clarify which aspects of running a small-scale farm has been most successful for Ullgrens.