Special Issue "Localized Agrifood Systems: Governance, Market, and Environmental Issues"

A special issue of Agriculture (ISSN 2077-0472).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 November 2017)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Paulina Rytkönen

School of Natural Sciences, Environmental Studies and Technology, Södertörn University, Sweden
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +46-8-6084109
Interests: entrepreneurship; innovation processes and diffusion of innovations; global and local agro-food systems; geographical indications; food and tourism; natural resource management; industry studies in the agro-food industry and the business history of agro-food in Europe, Sweden, and in global contexts
Guest Editor
Dr. Javier Sanz Cañada

Institute of Economics, Geography and Demography (IEGD)/Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), Albasanz, 26, 28037 Madrid, Spain
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +34 916022408
Fax: +34 916022971
Interests: local agro-food systems; territorial externalities; territorial governance; rural development and agro-food institutions; agricultural landscapes and public goods; geographical indications and other territorial certification systems; dissemination of innovation and knowledge; olive oil sector; cooperation between Europe and Latin America
Guest Editor
Dr. Giovanni Belletti

Department of Economics and Management, University of Florence, via delle Pandette 9, 50127 Firenze, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +39 (0)55-2759560
Fax: +39 (0)55-2759905
Interests: agricultural economics; rural development; agri-food marketing; geographical indications; local food systems; regional and food policies

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

During the last few decades, localized agri-food systems (LAFS, or SYAL according to the French acronym) have become increasingly important as tools for farmers, rural firms, and consumers to meet market challenges and satisfy the rising demand for “food with a farmers face”. The potential contribution of localized agri-food systems to rural development, by promoting economic development, social cohesion, and counter-acting the demographic impact of agricultural modernization, has also increased their political relevance.
Research regarding localized agri-food systems (LAFS) is dedicated to the study of various aspects of territorial agro-food organization, in which participants, stakeholders, resources, products, and landscapes are associated by the sharing of common values, habits, historical experiences that give rise to a common socio-economic basis, and a shared identity within the frame of a certain territory.
The aim of this Special Issue is, therefore, to providing empirical evidence on LAFS and enriching the academic discussion about localized agri-food systems, their role in territorial rural development processes, current opportunities, and challenges.
This Special Issue is aimed at soliciting original research and review articles that address the following issues:

•    The analysis of territories and the localization, delocalization and relocalization of agri-food economic activities and the potential of the LAFS approach to provide a vision of historical trajectories at local level
•    LAFS governance: Internal organization characteristics and collective action in LAFS, networked and multi-level coordination processes and cooperative organization of local farms, firms and institutions
•    The potential contribution of, or connection between LAFS and human and food security
•    Role and definition of origin-based quality in LAFS, protected Geographical Indications (GIs) and collective trademarks
•    Mechanisms of value creation by means of product qualification, short agri-food supply chains (including public procurement) and alternative agri-food supply chains, integration with rural tourism and heritage at a territorial level
•    Territorial strategies and public policies that promote innovation and cooperation at local scale and strengthen the territorial dimension of knowledge transfer and innovation
•    Entrepreneurship and innovative global/local solutions for new ruralities
•    Role of LAFS in the integration and renegotiation of relations between urban and rural spaces through new relations between both public and private consumers and producers
•    LAFS and the environment: Environmental challenges and local strategies developed to cope with such challenges, preserving biodiversity and cultural heritage, developing agro-ecological production systems, and strengthening circular economy approaches as a complement or alternative to the bioeconomy paradigm.
This call for paper follows the 7th International Conference on Localized Agri-Food Systems which was held in Stockholm, 8–10 May, 2016, organized by the European Research Group SYAL, the REDSIAL (Latin American Network on Localised Agri-food Systems), the Nordic Association of Agricultural Scientist NJF, and Södertörn University. The call for paper is obviously open to all contributors interested in SYAL/LAFS issues.

Dr. Paulina Rytkönen
Dr. Javier Sanz Cañada
Dr. Giovanni Belletti
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Agriculture is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 550 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Localized agri-food systems
  • Governance
  • Short food supply chains
  • Alternative agri-food networks
  • Geographical indications
  • Sustainability
  • Food security
  • Farm diversification
  • New rurality

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Measuring the Economic Impact of Farmers’ Markets on Local Economies in the Basque Country
Agriculture 2018, 8(1), 10; doi:10.3390/agriculture8010010
Received: 8 November 2017 / Revised: 2 January 2018 / Accepted: 3 January 2018 / Published: 8 January 2018
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Abstract
Farmers’ markets are a traditional exchange space for local peasants, around which alternative agri-food networks (AFNs) are being built on a local scale. These AFNs seek to establish quality and trust-based equitable relationships within value chains. The main objective of this paper is
[...] Read more.
Farmers’ markets are a traditional exchange space for local peasants, around which alternative agri-food networks (AFNs) are being built on a local scale. These AFNs seek to establish quality and trust-based equitable relationships within value chains. The main objective of this paper is to measure the economic impact of 10 farmers’ markets on the local economy in the Basque province of Gipuzkoa (Northern Spain). To calculate the degree of impact, we use the tools of input-output analysis, adapting the SEED & NEED & FEED (Sticky Economic Evaluation Device & Neighborhood Exchange Evaluation Device & Food Environment Evaluation Device) approach to the specific context of the Basque Country. The results obtained give an economic value of the impact of these marketing spaces, including direct and indirect effects on other economic sectors. Furthermore, the results show that markets present other factors, not just economic, that add value for both producers and consumers, as well as for the local economy. Full article
Open AccessArticle Foods and Places: Comparing Different Supply Chains
Agriculture 2018, 8(1), 6; doi:10.3390/agriculture8010006
Received: 19 November 2017 / Revised: 19 December 2017 / Accepted: 21 December 2017 / Published: 1 January 2018
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Abstract
This paper explores the relationships between food and places and how these affect the organization and functioning of different supply chains. The theme is increasingly relevant due to demand trends and new production patterns, including globalization, that deeply affect the (re)localization of production.
[...] Read more.
This paper explores the relationships between food and places and how these affect the organization and functioning of different supply chains. The theme is increasingly relevant due to demand trends and new production patterns, including globalization, that deeply affect the (re)localization of production. This is a conceptual paper extensively relying on previous studies done by the author and on evidence and concepts discussed in the literature; it does not present new in-depth case studies or any other original evidences. First, the different ways of conceptualizing and thinking the linkages between food and production places are discussed. Then, three chains that seek at delivering products for which the place of origin is important are compared: (i) short chains, where producers integrate the whole process in order to access the final consumer; (ii) geographical indications, where producers gather under a common name in order to build their reputation in connection with the place of production; (iii) retailers specialized in high quality foods, where advantages of large retailers are combined with the strong identity of products. The objective is to contribute understanding differences in the coordination modes and in the kind of governance at stake in each chain and to compare their strengths and drawbacks in terms of capacity to assure place-related quality and of delivering reliable information to consumers. Attention is also given to the role of farmers within the different chains, as these are usually strongly rooted in the place of origin but the weakest knots in the chain in terms of bargaining power. Vertical and horizontal coordination, together with collective actions, are essential for an effective alignment of the production process that can enhance quality and create/distribute value. The discussion also assesses difficulties and drawbacks related to sharing decisions and to managing common resources. Full article
Open AccessArticle An Eco-Egalitarian Solution to the Capitalist Consumer Paradox: Integrating Short Food Chains and Public Market Systems
Agriculture 2017, 7(9), 76; doi:10.3390/agriculture7090076
Received: 20 August 2017 / Revised: 6 September 2017 / Accepted: 11 September 2017 / Published: 14 September 2017
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Abstract
Presently, alternative agri-food networks are in a renaissance, utilizing an economy of proximity to compete against transnational agri-business and food distributors. While this is positive ecologically and socioeconomically, the overreliance on market mechanisms in short food chains has led to class distinctions in
[...] Read more.
Presently, alternative agri-food networks are in a renaissance, utilizing an economy of proximity to compete against transnational agri-business and food distributors. While this is positive ecologically and socioeconomically, the overreliance on market mechanisms in short food chains has led to class distinctions in food distribution and consumption. The result has been a capitalist consumer paradox exacerbating inequality in the alternative agri-food networks. To resolve this inequality, we focused on how public policy can leverage state investment in public markets to reduce or overcome the capitalist consumer paradox in short food chains. To clarify our argument, we began by examining the benefits of short food chains in the urban food system. Then, we explained how type of consumption and policy regime effect food access. After this, we utilized Mexico City and New York City’s public market systems as representative of an alternative policy regime and the effects of moving away from state-oriented development. We concluded by describing possible conflicts and complements to the integration of public markets into short urban food chains. Full article
Open AccessArticle Heterogeneous Organizational Arrangements in Agrifood Chains: A Governance Value Analysis Perspective on the Sheep and Goat Meat Sector of Italy
Agriculture 2017, 7(6), 47; doi:10.3390/agriculture7060047
Received: 13 March 2017 / Revised: 18 May 2017 / Accepted: 23 May 2017 / Published: 26 May 2017
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Abstract
In the Italian agrifood sector, one observes heterogeneity in the types of quality certification processes. This heterogeneity cannot be explained by standard governance theories like transaction costs economics (TCE). We use the governance value analysis (GVA) perspective that synthesizes TCE and a resources-based
[...] Read more.
In the Italian agrifood sector, one observes heterogeneity in the types of quality certification processes. This heterogeneity cannot be explained by standard governance theories like transaction costs economics (TCE). We use the governance value analysis (GVA) perspective that synthesizes TCE and a resources-based view (RBV), to suggest that the observed heterogeneity in organizational forms is a result of heterogeneous differentiating strategies that farms have pursued in the face of competitive pricing pressures. To empirically test GVA, data are obtained using a survey methodology on lamb meat produced by local farms in the Abruzzo region of Italy, challenged by price-costs squeeze. Our empirical test evidences the relevance of the adopted approach, enlightening different organizational arrangements, strictly linked to both the strategic positioning and to the farms’ resources and core competencies. Full article
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