Making Sustainability Tangible: Land O'Lakes and the Dairy Supply Chain

Michael Boland, Brendan Cooper, James M. White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


This case study examines the challenges of implementing a vaguely defined concept called sustainability in a large organization that also has a cooperative structure. Stakeholder theory is described and applied to a multinational dairy firm. The case firm, Land O'Lakes, must balance the needs of multiple constituencies: the general public, employees, cooperative members, external funding organizations, and the management team. One challenge is to define sustainability for the entire dairy industry. The case discusses the strategies used by firms in developing a sustainability response where the tradeoffs between different strategies are between credibility and autonomy and using an industry rather than a firm-level response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)648-657
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Agricultural Economics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association. All rights reserved.


  • Agribusiness
  • corporate social responsibility
  • dairy
  • food
  • supply chains
  • sustainability


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