Special Issue "Agricultural Food Marketing, Economics and Policies"

A special issue of Agriculture (ISSN 2077-0472). This special issue belongs to the section "Agricultural Economics, Policies and Rural Management".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 December 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Giuseppe Timpanaro
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Agricultural, Food and Environment, University of Catania, 95123 Catania, Italy
Interests: economic and environmental sustainability; environmental impact assessment; agri-food economics; efficiency analysis; food supply chain management; strategic marketing planning; agri-food economics; consumer economics (theory and empirical applications); agri-food supply chain management; food chain logistics and ICT; economics of technological innovation in the agri-food industry
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

As is well known, agriculture and food production have been—for some time now—called upon to become more sustainable in the global context of rising population and living standards, climate change, and environmental degradation. According to existing literature, this can be done through the development of innovative ways and tools to reduce resource use, reduce material consumption and waste production, and reverse the trend of biodiversity loss, while ensuring that society is provided with sufficient, nutritious, sustainable, and affordable food. Such a general need, shared at international political level, is today overwhelmingly urgent due to the need to recover from the crisis triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has accentuated the effects of degrowth. The North and South of the world need a new economic model more oriented toward equity, restructuring of production, and consumption models, sobriety combined with full employment and social security, as well as food security and local agriculture. This is perfectly in line with the importance of food and agriculture in achieving the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals, all directly or indirectly related to food, and in accelerating the transition to Agenda 2030.

In this general context, research and reflection contributions, developed in different territorial contexts, are well accepted:

  • Policies at different levels of decision making, both in order to capture orientations toward the creation of healthy and sustainable food environments and to characterize forms of integrated and shared responsibilities between civil society, businesses, policy makers, and producers aimed at dialogue and cooperation for the creation of sustainable development hubs;
  • Aspects of production that promote regenerative and agro-ecological agricultural practices and healthy and sustainable food systems; organizational and management changes brought about by the COVID-19 crisis; organizational and management changes aimed at achieving the Millennium Goals;
  • Agri-food supply chain and its orientation on health and sustainability, to analyze the level of involvement of the business system in change and to identify areas for improvement from field to table, also aiming at reducing food losses and waste; to analyze to what extent sustainability is an integral part of business strategies; to ensure the transparency of its processes throughout the supply chain; to strengthen regional and local supply chains to improve distribution, helping to guarantee the right to food;
  • Agri-food marketing, to analyze food needs, preferences, and cultures; the level of information on the economic, social, and environmental impacts of daily food choices; technological, digital, and geospatial solutions aimed at creating knowledge networks to exchange information on more sustainable choices and innovative solutions by farmers and producers; to promote training programs and awareness campaigns to make food production and consumption patterns healthier and more sustainable and to adopt more responsible food behavior to reduce the environmental, economic, and social impact of food waste.

Prof. Giuseppe Timpanaro
Guest Editor

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 1600 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

  • Recovery from the crisis by COVID-19
  • Regenerative and agro-ecological agricultural practices
  • Sustainable agricultural practices to improve soil health and fertility, biodiversity, water savings, and nutrient densities in crops and reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • Global standards for food safety, nutrition and food quality
  • Protection of natural resources and ecosystems
  • Reduction of food loss and waste
  • Business strategies
  • Regional and local supply chains
  • Right to food, food security, and food sovereignty
  • Technological, digital, and geospatial solutions and agro-food blockchain
  • Data protection and regulation
  • Finance and investment that contribute to public health and reduce negative environmental externalities, increasing the resilience of land use
  • Protection of plants from pests and emerging diseases
  • Sustainable development hub
  • Labeling highlighting the interconnection between food, climate, environment, and social justice
  • Global resilience and actions addressing climate change
  • Analysis of consumption (theory and empirical applications)
  • analysis of commercial distribution
  • Marketing of agri-food products
  • Food security and food sovereignty
  • Local and sustainable supply chains
  • Bioregional whole systems design
  • Assessment of ecosystem services and profitability for farmers
  • Comparison between intensive and sustainable production models
  • Agri-food supply chain management
  • Food chain logistics and ICT

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

Article
Choice of Modern Food Distribution Channels and Its Welfare Effects: Empirical Evidence from Taiwan
Agriculture 2021, 11(6), 499; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11060499 - 28 May 2021
Viewed by 440
Abstract
The determinants and/or economic effects of modern food distribution channels have attracted much attention in previous research. Studies on the welfare consequences of modern channel options, however, have been sparse. Based on a broader definition of modern food distribution channels including midstream processors [...] Read more.
The determinants and/or economic effects of modern food distribution channels have attracted much attention in previous research. Studies on the welfare consequences of modern channel options, however, have been sparse. Based on a broader definition of modern food distribution channels including midstream processors and downstream retailers (supermarkets, hypermarkets, brand-named retailers), this study contributes to the existing body of knowledge by exploring the distributional implications of farm households’ choice of modern food distribution channels using a large and unique farm household dataset in Taiwan. Making use of the two-step control function approach, we identify the effect of modern food distribution options on farm households’ profitability. The results reveal selling farm produce to modern food distributors does not produce a positive differential compared to the traditional outlets. Another dimension of farm household welfare affected by the choice of modern food distribution channel is income inequality. We apply the Lerman and Yitzhaki decomposition approach to gain a better understanding of the effect of the marketing channel option on the overall distribution of farm household income. The Gini decomposition of different income sources indicates that the choice of modern food distribution channels results in an inequality-equalizing effect among the farm households in Taiwan, suggesting the inclusion of smallholder farmers in the modern food distribution channels improves the overall welfare of the rural society. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agricultural Food Marketing, Economics and Policies)
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Article
Evaluating the Impacts of Smallholder Farmer’s Participation in Modern Agricultural Value Chain Tactics for Facilitating Poverty Alleviation—A Case Study of Kiwifruit Industry in Shaanxi, China
Agriculture 2021, 11(5), 462; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11050462 - 19 May 2021
Viewed by 442
Abstract
Market-based initiatives like agriculture value chain (AVC) are becoming progressively pervasive to support smallholder rural farmers and assist them in entering larger market interventions and providing a pathway of enhancing their socioeconomic well-being. Moreover, it may also foster staggering effects towards the post-era [...] Read more.
Market-based initiatives like agriculture value chain (AVC) are becoming progressively pervasive to support smallholder rural farmers and assist them in entering larger market interventions and providing a pathway of enhancing their socioeconomic well-being. Moreover, it may also foster staggering effects towards the post-era poverty alleviation in rural areas and possessed a significant theoretical and practical influence for modern agricultural development. The prime objective of the study is to explore the effects of smallholder farmers’ participation in the agricultural value chain for availing rural development and poverty alleviation. Specifically, we have crafted the assessment employing pre-production (improved fertilizers usage), in-production (modern preservation technology), and post-production (supply chain) participation and interventions of smallholder farmers. The empirical data has been collected from a micro survey dataset of 623 kiwifruit farmers from July to September in Shaanxi, China. We have employed propensity score matching (PSM), probit, and OLS models to explore the multidimensional poverty reduction impact and heterogeneity of farmers’ participation in the agricultural value chain. The results show that the total number of poor farmers who have experienced one-dimensional and two-dimensional poverty is relatively high (66.3%). We also find that farmers’ participation in agricultural value chain activities has a significant poverty reduction effect. The multidimensional poverty level of farmers using improved fertilizer, organizational acquisition, and using storage technology (compared with non-participating farmers) decreased by 30.1%, 46.5%, and 25.0%, respectively. The multidimensional poverty reduction degree of male farmers using improved fertilizer and participating in the organizational acquisition is greater than that of women. The multidimensional poverty reduction degree of female farmers using storage and fresh-keeping technology has a greater impact than the males using storage and improved storage technology. Government should widely promote the value chain in the form of pre-harvest, production, and post-harvest technology. The public–private partnership should also be strengthened for availing innovative technologies and infrastructure development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agricultural Food Marketing, Economics and Policies)
Article
Marketing of Vegetable Seeds: Practice and Behavioral Inclinations of Vegetable Seed Sellers and Farmers in Selected Areas of Bangladesh
Agriculture 2021, 11(4), 364; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11040364 - 16 Apr 2021
Viewed by 569
Abstract
This research was based on a survey conducted in Bangladesh in three major seed-producing divisions, viz., Dhaka, Mymensingh, and Chittagong. Descriptive data was gathered by randomly selecting 100 peasants and 100 rural retailers for in-depth interviews. The general accounting approach was also used [...] Read more.
This research was based on a survey conducted in Bangladesh in three major seed-producing divisions, viz., Dhaka, Mymensingh, and Chittagong. Descriptive data was gathered by randomly selecting 100 peasants and 100 rural retailers for in-depth interviews. The general accounting approach was also used to assess profit and loss. The objective of the study was to analyze the marketing tendencies of vegetable seed farmers and sellers. The results showed a lack of market information, poor institutions and arrangements, poor marketing infrastructures, transportation system, and high and unfair profit margin distribution among the value chain actors with little share to the farmers in the vegetable seed market. These findings are indicators of poor marketing efficiency and thereby suboptimal operation of the seed marketing system. The significant determinants of market supply of vegetable seeds were found to be the average current price, age, the total size of land, farmers’ experience, sex, number of oxen, and access to market information. The determinants of demand for vegetable seeds—family size, purchase frequency, the average current price, income level, average expenditure on food and purchasing, profit or loss of vegetable seed farming—were found to be significant in the study. According to the findings of this report, vegetable seed sector in Bangladesh needs more government support, especially in terms of marketing policies in order to improve the current state of vegetable seed farming. Vegetable seed farming was not profitable due to a lack of technology and knowledge, as well as a lack of funding. With the existing status of infrastructure, the presence of middlemen is unavoidable. As a result, farmers have no alternative but to follow the orders of the middlemen, resulting in seed quality problems. Hence, the results are indicative of the measures that should be taken for production, market infrastructure, arrangements, and institutions to improve the functioning of the seed marketing system. It also proposes a vegetable seed distribution channel through which a cooperative community would serve as a collecting hub for a more efficient marketing scheme. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agricultural Food Marketing, Economics and Policies)
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Article
The Role of the Start-Up Aid for Young Farmers in the Adoption of Innovative Agricultural Activities: The Case of Aloe Vera
Agriculture 2021, 11(4), 349; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11040349 - 14 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 394
Abstract
The poor generational renewal has been identified as a key issue for the EU policy that undermines the restructuring of the agricultural sector and the revitalisation of rural areas. The start-up aid for young farmers is one of the main EU-driven policy measures [...] Read more.
The poor generational renewal has been identified as a key issue for the EU policy that undermines the restructuring of the agricultural sector and the revitalisation of rural areas. The start-up aid for young farmers is one of the main EU-driven policy measures that try to mitigate this trend, by facilitating the initial investment of young newcomers in agriculture. At the same time, innovative crops with appealing characteristics are proposed as promising alternatives with high socioeconomic and low environmental impacts. Recently, a draft new call of the start-up aid for young farmers measure has been set under public consultation in Greece, which significantly alters the requirements and the level of support of the beneficiaries, compared to the previous one. The aim of this study is to explore the consequences of this change to the desirability to invest in the organic aloe vera crop, one of the leading innovating crops in Greece. In this study, taking into consideration the embedded risk and uncertainty, we utilise a stochastic version of the Net Present Value (NPV) analysis, a common discount cash flows method to detect the desirability of an investment. Results indicate that the potential alteration of the start-up aid for young farmers deteriorates the desirability of this investment and thus prevents farmers from its adoption. The analysis provides useful insights by highlighting risk factors and the possible impacts of policy measures on the desirability of innovative crops; thus, it can be useful both for investors and policymakers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agricultural Food Marketing, Economics and Policies)
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Article
Is Futurization the Culprit for the Violent Fluctuation in China’s Apple Spot Price?
Agriculture 2021, 11(4), 342; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11040342 - 12 Apr 2021
Viewed by 443
Abstract
China aims to utilize the futures market to stabilize agricultural product price fluctuation by quantifying the effects of risk transfer and price discovery. However, the role of futurization has been questioned and even posited as the cause of drastic fluctuations in spot market [...] Read more.
China aims to utilize the futures market to stabilize agricultural product price fluctuation by quantifying the effects of risk transfer and price discovery. However, the role of futurization has been questioned and even posited as the cause of drastic fluctuations in spot market prices. This research aims to clarify the impact of futurization on the price fluctuation of agricultural products and to provide policy reference for the development of the agricultural futures market through the research. Here, we examine the spot price data for apples and use Interrupted time-series analysis (ITSA) and GARCH models to estimate the impact of apple futures on the volatility of spot prices. Our findings demonstrate that the launch of China’s apple futures did not increase the volatility of apple spot prices; that is, futurization was not the cause of skyrocketing apple spot prices. In the long term, our results suggest that futures will help reduce the volatility of apple spot prices and that the introduction of futures will ultimately reduce the price volatility of agricultural products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agricultural Food Marketing, Economics and Policies)
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Article
Targeting Youths’ Intentions to Avoid Food Waste: Segmenting for Better Policymaking
Agriculture 2021, 11(4), 284; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11040284 - 25 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 609
Abstract
Food waste is a global challenge that raises many questions about the reasons and prevalence of this phenomenon in all sectors of the economy. The youth is regarded as a consumer group, which is the most prone to food waste. This paper aims [...] Read more.
Food waste is a global challenge that raises many questions about the reasons and prevalence of this phenomenon in all sectors of the economy. The youth is regarded as a consumer group, which is the most prone to food waste. This paper aims to understand their food waste intentions to support tailored policies for policymakers, retailers, and other market actors. We applied the extended Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) to find the relevant variables that affect the youth’s intention not to waste food. Besides creating a general model, we divided the sample into segments differing in respondents’ intentions to avoid food waste and specific socioeconomic characteristics. The data confirm significant differences between young women and men from urban and rural areas. Each of the segments was characterized by specific latent variables, influencing the intentions to avoid food waste. This segmentation allowed for developing policy recommendations that were tailored to each segment. It is a unique approach to differentiate the youth to unveil their specific food-waste intentions. Based on the above, we conclude that segmenting is a useful approach to the general TPB model, allowing for interesting insights. A fine segmentation is also a milestone to develop tailored policies, interventions, and communication on food waste reduction in rural and urban areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agricultural Food Marketing, Economics and Policies)
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Article
Assessing Sustainability of Organic Livestock Farming in Sicily: A Case Study Using the FAO SAFA Framework
Agriculture 2021, 11(3), 274; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11030274 - 23 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 541
Abstract
Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and pollutants, soil erosion and groundwater pollution are some of the negative aspects blamed on livestock farming, so their level of sustainability needs to be assessed, taking into account the territory in which they operate. The research focuses on [...] Read more.
Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and pollutants, soil erosion and groundwater pollution are some of the negative aspects blamed on livestock farming, so their level of sustainability needs to be assessed, taking into account the territory in which they operate. The research focuses on the assessment of sustainability performance in the four dimensions of good governance: environmental integrity, economic resilience and social well-being, considered by the ‘‘Sustainability Assessment of Food and Agriculture Systems’’ (SAFA) tool developed by Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The objective of applying this methodology is to highlight the sustainability dimensions in which the ten analyzed farms are weakest and the ones in which they show the most strength, in order to provide farmers a tool to understand the criticalities on which to intervene. The farms considered follow the principles of agroecology and organic farming, which are decisive in the pursuit of sustainable development. The overall results show a satisfactory level of sustainability with high prospects for improvement, in line with the EU commitments undertaken in the Green Deal and the Millennium Development Goals. Livestock farms must, therefore, be encouraged and accompanied with targeted technical assistance strategies and appropriate agroecological protocols. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agricultural Food Marketing, Economics and Policies)
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Article
Evaluating the Financial Health of Agricultural Enterprises in the Conditions of the Slovak Republic Using Bankruptcy Models
Agriculture 2021, 11(3), 242; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11030242 - 12 Mar 2021
Viewed by 409
Abstract
Under the influence of the change in the overall economic environment, the problem of measuring the performance of a company and its financial health is also changing. At present, every agricultural company is exposed to a number of internal as well as external [...] Read more.
Under the influence of the change in the overall economic environment, the problem of measuring the performance of a company and its financial health is also changing. At present, every agricultural company is exposed to a number of internal as well as external risks, the failure of which can lead to potential bankruptcy. It is a known fact that the risks in agriculture are significantly greater than those in other sectors of the national economy. Proper diagnosis of critical aspects and measuring the development of individual financial indicators of agricultural holdings are basic prerequisites for eliminating these risks and maintaining, as well as increasing, their competitiveness. Among the key tools for measuring the financial situation of a company are bankruptcy models, three of which have been used (Altman model, Taffler model, and Bonity index). The aim of this study was to identify the comprehensive financial health of 469 agricultural enterprises in the Slovak Republic using the three above-mentioned bankruptcy models in 2016. The obtained results were verified using the Kruskal–Wallis test, Levene test, or Moran index. Altman’s model indicated potential future problems of businesses and agricultural cooperatives. Using the Bonity index, the neutral situation was assessed (the financial health could be regarded as neither insufficient nor optimal). Taffler model offered contradicted results and does not expect the occurrence of problems soon. In the study, we also verified the assumption of the dependence of financial health of companies on the legal form and territorial division, which was confirmed to be insignificant. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agricultural Food Marketing, Economics and Policies)
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Article
Modeling Profitability in the Jamaican Coffee Industry
Agriculture 2021, 11(2), 121; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11020121 - 03 Feb 2021
Viewed by 539
Abstract
It is well known that producers of agricultural products do not able to capture most of the value from what they grow. As such, it is important for producers to be attuned to the various factors that impact the viability of their products. [...] Read more.
It is well known that producers of agricultural products do not able to capture most of the value from what they grow. As such, it is important for producers to be attuned to the various factors that impact the viability of their products. One such potential avenue for coffee producers is developing a strong awareness of profitability across their respective geographic regions. This research presents a fine-scale geospatial profitability model for coffee production using the test case of the Jamaican Coffee Industry, a sector which once guaranteed profitability but now presents variable (often losing) returns for many producers, this research presents a cost-surface model for coffee production in the island of Jamaica. Results indicated large scale profitability in the 2016–2017 coffee year but limited profitability in the 2019–2019 coffee year, highlighting the important role of revenue fluctuation in island-wide profitability. Results underscore importance of scenario planning in the coffee production cycle. By understanding the spatial properties of profitability producers will obtain better decision-making insight for production and management decisions in the coffee industry around the world. The geospatial profitability model establishes a baseline approach that can be accessed by industry stakeholders of varying technological capacities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agricultural Food Marketing, Economics and Policies)
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Article
Direct Measurement of Mass and Economic Harvest and Post-Harvest Losses in Spanish Persimmon Primary Production
Agriculture 2020, 10(12), 581; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10120581 - 25 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1183
Abstract
Globally, one in every three produced kilograms is wasted at some point along the entire agri-food chain. Unfortunately, knowledge about losses and waste is not equally distributed along the food chain. In fact, in some stages the primary data required to properly estimate [...] Read more.
Globally, one in every three produced kilograms is wasted at some point along the entire agri-food chain. Unfortunately, knowledge about losses and waste is not equally distributed along the food chain. In fact, in some stages the primary data required to properly estimate the magnitude of the problem are lacking. This is especially true for agricultural production, for which studies that have used on-site measurements are scarce. The present study analyses the mass losses and unpaid share that occur during the harvest process and persimmon storage in warehouses in the Valencia region, Spain. The study was carried out using on-site measurements and primary data from the harvest and storage phases. Losses were also classified according to their causes. The total mass and economic losses were estimated as either 29.5% for the total produced volume or 38.5% for the number of finally commercialised kilograms. This work aims to highlight the complex problem in primary production with the mass and economic losses that farmers bear and to show the potential of loss reduction measures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agricultural Food Marketing, Economics and Policies)
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Article
Milk Market Integration between Poland and the EU Countries
Agriculture 2020, 10(11), 561; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10110561 - 20 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 575
Abstract
Milk is one of the most essential agricultural products in the EU. One of the major milk producers in the EU is Poland. Polish farmers account for supplying 8% of the total EU production. Nevertheless, Polish milk prices differ from the prices recorded [...] Read more.
Milk is one of the most essential agricultural products in the EU. One of the major milk producers in the EU is Poland. Polish farmers account for supplying 8% of the total EU production. Nevertheless, Polish milk prices differ from the prices recorded in its western neighbors. The aim of the article has been to evaluate the dynamics of the relationships between milk prices in Poland and in the EU countries. To develop it, the monthly raw milk prices, covering the period January 2005 through December 2018, were applied. The calculations were made for the entire selected period as well as for two sub-periods: 2005–2011 and 2012–2018. The results were used to confirm the milk market integration between Poland and the EU countries. Besides, it must be noted that the relations increased considerably since 2012. The EU countries which have recorded the greatest impact on the prices in Poland are Germany, Ireland, France and Slovakia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agricultural Food Marketing, Economics and Policies)
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