Martin Melin

Martin Melin
Feeding 10 billion people sustainably by 2050 requires a massive transformation of how food is produced and consumed. Closing the food gap must be achieved at the same time as cutting down on CO2 emissions, protecting and restoring natural ecosystems and creating equitable and achievable food systems. In a current research project, Martin is studying the role of education and capacity building in promoting a sustainable food system.


Martin Melin is a Researcher at the Department of Work Science, Business Economics and Environmental Psychology at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) at Alnarp, Sweden. Martin is an agronomist, holds a M.Sc. in Biology and a PhD in Animal Science.  He has performed research on Lean Production, a Japanese management philosophy, where he studied the potential of Lean to make farms more sustainable in a social, environmental and economic perspective. In a current research project he investigates how education in the field of agriculture and food can be transformed to better fit the future needs, and what role education plays in promoting sustainable food systems. He spent several years as a consultant in the agrifood sector working with sustainable food production, change processes and capacity building in Swedish farms. 

Research Interests: transformation of the food system towards sustainability, on-farm and participatory research and educational activities, capacity building in the food and farming sector, value stream mapping and Lean production.


Research projects:

EU Horizon2020 – Nextfood. Main applicant and scientific coordinator. 2018-2022. Budget 70 MSEK.

NextFood is a project finansed by the European Uniom (H2020), with 19 partners in Europe, South Asia, Africa and South America.  

NextFood aims at a transformation towards a more sustainable agrifood and forestry production, by bringing together university students, academics, field professionals, farmers and other stakeholders in order to create a community of action learning and research. Farmers, students and advisers are placed on the driving seat of this project, as it seeks to affect a paradigm shift in European universities, away from the usual linear, top-down, teaching approach and towards a cyclical, participative, action oriented system of learning.

At the heart of the project lay twelve pilot case studies that will offer insights into supporting and hindering forces towards such a shift in education. The development and evaluation of new innovative curricula will play a pivotal role in fulfilling this ambitious aim of the consortium partners; curricula that will allow students to emerge as facilitators of an economically, socially and ecologically more sustainable agrifood and forestry sector.


SLF – Benchmark for Successful Business Management. Project Leader. 2016-2019. Budget 3 MSEK

European Union Social Fund – Företagslyftet i Väst. Co-project leader. 2015-2016. Budget 15 MSEK

European Union Social Fund – Lean in Agriculture. Main applicant and project leader. 2010-2014. Budget 12 MSEK

SLF- Lean for competitive and climate efficient milk production. Main applicant and project leader. 2011-2014. 950 TSEK


Co-supervision of PhD-students

Vera Sadovska. Title of Doctoral Project: Transforming agrifood systems towards sustainability. Preliminary dissertation December 2022.

Lisa Germundsson. Title of Doctoral Project: Knowledge, skills and innovation in horticulture business development.  


Supervision of Master and Bachelor students

Lundgren, L. 2020. Skills and competencies for sustainable food systems – Case study of young market gardeners in Sweden. M.Sc. thesis in Horticultural Science.

Svensson, A. 2019. A sustainable food-system? – Economic sustainability of Swedish community supported agriculture (CSA). M.Sc. thesis in Agroecology.

Duval., M. 2019. Leadership and employees during organizational change in public park management - Case studies of organizational changes in two Swedish public park management. B.Sc.-thesis in landscape engineering. 

Christenson, L. 2017. Lean in a medium-sized food company for production efficiency - Lean in a medium-sized food company for production efficiency gains? B.Sc.-thesis in agriculture.

Nilson, L. & Person, D. 2018. Is it profitable with Lean? – A study on the relation between Lean and perceived profitability on Swedish farms. B.Sc.-thesis in agriculture. 

Dyrendahl, C och Granath, J. 2011. Lean för lantbruksföretaget - utvärdering av
industriellt managementsystem i agrar kontext. M.S.-thesis in agricultural economics. (co-supervisor).

Persson, C., 2009. Ledarskap i ett Lean- perspektiv. Vad i sitt ledarskap behöver
lantbrukarna utveckla? B.Sc.-thesis in agriculture. 




Publikationer i urval

Peer-reviewed papers

Melin, M. and Barth, H. (2020) ‘Value stream mapping for sustainable change at a Swedish dairy farm’, Int. J. Environment and Waste Management, Vol. 25, No. 1, pp.130–140.

Barth, H., and Melin, M. 2018. A Green Lean approach to global competition and climate change in the agricultural sector – A Swedish case study. Journal of Cleaner Production. Volume 204, Pages 183-192.

Melin, M & Barth, H. 2018. Lean in Swedish agriculture: strategic and operational perspectives,Production Planning & Control, DOI: 10.1080/09537287.2018.1479784


Submissions to conferences

Melin, M., G. Lieblein, S. Rosenlund Hansen, N.H. Kristensen, and C. Francis. 2020. NEXTFOOD: transforming education to develop sustainable food systems, Proceedings of ENOAT 2020 Workshop [online meeting], M. Bavec, E. Rembialkowska, and C. Francis, editors, Maribor, Slovenia. September 27. P. 9-16.

J. Nybom, M. Melin, E. Hunter, O. Karlsson. (2017). BENCHMARK FOR SUCCESSFUL AGRIBUSINESS - INTRODUCING THE "FIVE PILLAR" FRAMEWORK . IFMA, Edinburgh, 2017. content/uploads/2018/01/17_Po_Nybom_etal.pdf



Lieblein, G., Breland, T.A., Nicolaysen, A.M, Melin, M., Francis, C. 2018. Educational approaches - future curriculum, education and training. Nextfood report D3.1.

Germundsson, L., Gonzalez, R., Jönsson, H., Kristensen, N.H., Květoň, V., Lehejček, J., Lehejček, J., Melin, M., Moudrý jr, J., Moudrý sr, J. 2018. Review of existing standards and criteria for evaluation of action learning education and applied research. Nextfood report D5.1. 

Melin, M., Rydberg, A., Sundström, B. och Östergren, K. 2013. Lean för konkurrenskraftig och klimateffektiv mjölkproduktion. JTI-rapport 414.

Rydberg, A, Melin, M., Sundström, B., Östergren, M.2011. Konkurrenskraftigare grisföretag med Lean. JTI-rapport 399, Institutet för jordbruks och miljöteknik, Uppsala.

Melin, M., Lundberg,S., Ståhl, Y. 2010. Lantbrukets husdjur i ett förändrat klimat – konsekvenser för utfodring, djurhälsa och stallbyggnader. HS Halland.

Forskare vid Institutionen för människa och samhälle
Telefon: +4640415420, +46768347956
Box 88
23053 Alnarp
Besöksadress: Slottsvägen 5, Alnarp