ECONOMICS OF THE AGRI-FOOD SYSTEM
Learning outcomes of the course unit
Understanding the Italian and European agri-food system, both with a supply chain and industry perspective and the food consumers’ perception and preferences.
Students will gain skills related to the analysis of case studies (e.g., the analysis of agro-food chain, or geographical indications) using the knowledge acquired during the course.
Propaedeutic courses are not required
Course contents summary
The course illustrates the institutional and organizational dynamics involved in production, processing and retail of food products, including food quality and safety standards (e.g. PDO, PGI, organic production, etc.). This course allows also students to gain knowledge about the public intervention in the agri-food system, with a specific analysis of the EU policies for agriculture, rural development, food quality and safety.
1) Micro-economics: demand and supply; perfect competitive markets; theory of production.
2) Agri-food system organisation: supply chain; vertical and horizontal integration process.
3) Cooperatives and producer’s associations: cooperatives’ role in the agri-food system; elements of the cooperatives’ balance sheet.
4) Sustainability in the agri-food sector, evolution of the concept, environmental, social and economic sustainability of the short supply chains, sustainable diets, food loss and waste.
5) Quality specification in the agri-food system and Geographical Indications: quality attributes of food products; asymmetric information, moral hazard and adverse selection; compulsory public regulations; voluntary certification schemes; economics of traditional and quality certified products (e.g. PDO/PGI).
6) Agricultural policy: evolution of Common Agricultural Policy (CAP); market sustain and rural development policies (multifunctionality.
7) Food safety economics and policy: European Union policy for food safety; risk perception of the public; economics of the food policy.
- Textbook edited by the teacher "Economics of the Agrifood System".
- F. Ferretti, F. Messori (2010) Economia del mercato dei prodotti agroalimentari, Il Sole 24 Ore Edagricole.
- Further readings will be uploaded on the teacher’s webpage.
Lectures and seminars
Assessment methods and criteria
• The final exam will be written (at least three open-ended questions).
• The knowledge that we intend to evaluate concern the whole program, i.e.: 1) Micro-economics, 2) Agri-food system organisation, 3) Cooperatives and producer’s associations, 4) Sustainability in the agri-food sector, 5) Quality specification in the agri-food system and Geographical Indications, 6) Agricultural policy: evolution of Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and 7) Food safety economics and policy. The skills that will be assessed are related to the student's ability to apply these concepts in the case studies proposed by the teacher during the final examination. In the examination, the teacher will provide students with at least three open-ended questions.
• The criteria used to evaluate students are: a) ability to use the knowledge transmitted during the course, in concrete case studies suggested by the teacher in the three questions of the final examination, b) ability to argue the responses with the use of formulas and graphics, to analyze from an economic point of view the proposed case studies, c) formal language and use of specific terminology. For each question these three criteria will be weighed in the following way: a) 50%, b) 30%, c) 20%. For each of the three questions, the teacher will assign a score from 1 to 10 using the weights for the three criteria; to achieve the minimum evaluation candidates must achieve a total score greater than or equal to 18.