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Special Issue "Sustainable Agriculture and Food Supply: Scientific, Economic and Policy Analysis"

A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073). This special issue belongs to the section "I: Energy Economics and Policy".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 December 2021) | Viewed by 16616

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Karolina Pawlak
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Economics and Economic Policy in Agribusiness, Faculty of Economics, Poznan University of Life Sciences, Wojska Polskiego 28, 60-637 Poznan, Poland
Interests: agricultural economics; international economics; international trade and trade policy; foreign direct investment; international competitiveness; regional integration; agricultural policy; agricultural markets; food industry; food security; general and partial equilibrium modeling
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Agriculture, food industry, and food distribution are of key importance to each economy for a wide range of reasons, including the essential role in ensuring food security, balancing the labor market, improving the population’s income level, as well as boosting international trade and economic growth. According to the FAO report “The future of food and agriculture – Alternative pathways to 2050”, the world’s population will be 9.7 billion by 2050, 10.8 billion by 2080, and 11.2 billion by 2100. The expected population growth together with an increase in per capita income and rapid urbanization continue to increase the demand for food. Due to this, the area of concern is enhancing productivity and eradicating hunger. On the other hand, intensive and industrialized food production practices, which have been developed over the past few decades, have been increasingly bringing about severe resource degradation and GHG emissions.

In the light of the above, one of the most important challenges faced by the global agri-food system is feeding the world population sustainably, which requires a simultaneous promotion of agricultural productivity and preservation of available natural resources. It should also be noted here that the effectiveness of actions taken to reduce GHG emissions in agriculture is linked to the economy-wide efforts to increase efficiency in energy production and consumption. Moreover, extreme poverty and unemployment, unequal distribution of income and resources, insufficient investments, inadequate technological changes, inequitable domestic and international markets for inputs and outputs, lack of well-designed trade policies, climate change, as well as food losses and waste hamper sustainable productivity improvement. Strong institutions and policies tailored toward agriculture-based industries, rural areas, and environmental protection also play a strategic role when searching for sustainable agriculture and food supply.

The aim of this Special Issue of Energies is to open the floor for a scientific discussion around the trends, drivers, and challenges for sustainable agriculture and food supply at the local, regional, national or global level. Original research papers presenting theoretical insights and/or empirical and policy-oriented analyses related to social, economic or environmental dimensions of a sustainable agri-food system and rural areas are welcome. Submissions employing various quantitative methods or qualitative analyses, as well as review articles are strongly encouraged.

Dr. Karolina Pawlak
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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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. Energies is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly 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 2200 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

  • Sustainability
  • Agricultural production
  • Agricultural policy
  • Food industry
  • Inputs and services to agriculture and food industry
  • Energy sources
  • Agri-food markets
  • International trade and policy
  • Environmental issues and policy
  • Climate change
  • Bioeconomy
  • Food security
  • Food losses and waste
  • Sustainable consumption
  • Socioeconomic problems of rural areas

Published Papers (16 papers)

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Research

Article
Evolution of Short Food Supply Chain Theory and Practice: Two-Sided Networks and Platforms
Energies 2022, 15(3), 1137; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15031137 - 03 Feb 2022
Viewed by 447
Abstract
The shift from an industrial to a post-industrial economic system encourages an alternative to the globalized food chains—short food supply chain initiatives, which come alongside the servitization concept and are often discussed in the context of sustainability. However, short food supply chain literature [...] Read more.
The shift from an industrial to a post-industrial economic system encourages an alternative to the globalized food chains—short food supply chain initiatives, which come alongside the servitization concept and are often discussed in the context of sustainability. However, short food supply chain literature is mainly focused on the aspects typical of the industrial economic system and neglects new important business drivers arising in the post-industrial era. This research aims to discuss the evolution of short food supply chain theory and practice in the context of three paradigm innovations that emerged in the post-industrial economic system and suggest new paths for sustainable agri-food system building. All three paradigm innovations are closely related to each other, but each changes a certain dimension of the mental model concerning the food production and delivery system. The article examines the organizational model of the alternative local food market in Lithuania that has been designed according to the “new rules of game” suggested by the post-industrial economic system. Full article
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Article
An Attempt to Apply Canonical Analysis to Investigate the Dependencies between the Level of Organic Farming Development in Poland and the Chosen Environmental Determinants
Energies 2021, 14(24), 8390; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14248390 - 13 Dec 2021
Viewed by 517
Abstract
Polish organic agriculture has faced rapid growth in the recent two decades. Nevertheless, one may observe considerable discrepancies in organic agriculture development in specific regions of Poland. Therefore, it is necessary to recognize the key conditions for this development and its spatial differentiation. [...] Read more.
Polish organic agriculture has faced rapid growth in the recent two decades. Nevertheless, one may observe considerable discrepancies in organic agriculture development in specific regions of Poland. Therefore, it is necessary to recognize the key conditions for this development and its spatial differentiation. Since the relationship between organic farming and the natural environment has a fundamental meaning in this production system, it is crucial to study the development determinants of environmental characters. Thus the paper aims to identify the level of organic farming development in Polish districts and to investigate multidimensional relations between this level and selected environmental conditions. In order to identify the range and direction of those multidimensional relations between the discussed phenomena, canonical analysis was applied. Within the conducted study, proprietary synthetic measures were constructed (using the TOPSIS—Technique for Order of Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution), and linear ordering of the objects described by a large number of variables was employed. To define the strength and direction of the dependencies among constructed synthetic indices of the level of organic farming development and environmental conditions, a correlation analysis was performed. All 380 districts in Poland were considered as the investigated objects. Based on the variables describing selected environmental conditions, one may explain nearly 26.7% of the variance of variables related to organic agriculture development. Full article
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Article
“Green” Transformation of the Common Agricultural Policy and Its Impact on Farm Income Disparities
Energies 2021, 14(24), 8242; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14248242 - 07 Dec 2021
Viewed by 662
Abstract
Taking into account the evolution of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), it is wondered to what extent the “green” transformation of this policy and the accompanying change in the distribution of direct payments between farms contributed to the elimination of disproportions in agricultural [...] Read more.
Taking into account the evolution of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), it is wondered to what extent the “green” transformation of this policy and the accompanying change in the distribution of direct payments between farms contributed to the elimination of disproportions in agricultural income. The aim of the study was to investigate the changes in the proclaimed concepts related to the development of the EU agricultural sector in terms of their “green” transformation, and to assess the impact of “green” CAP payments on income inequalities between farms. The research was conducted based on the data representative for Polish commercial farms for the years 2004–2019, covering three financial perspectives of the agricultural policy. The methods of counterfactual modelling and assessment of income inequality were used in the study. The analyses showed that the evolution of the CAP priorities, and hence instruments, towards the pro-environmental (or, more broadly, towards sustainability) have so far had a rather negative impact on the income of Polish farms. In its current form, the support dedicated to environmental and climate protection did not fully compensate farmers for income losses resulting from the use of pro-environmental agricultural practices. Moreover, “green” CAP payments did not play a significant role in shaping income inequalities. Therefore, we can conclude that the CAP instruments do not contribute sufficiently to sustainable development (economic, social, and environmental), because they do not support/motivate farmers to change their production standards. Full article
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Article
Changes in the Stock Market of Food Industry Companies during the COVID-19 Pandemic—A Comparative Analysis of Poland and Germany
Energies 2021, 14(23), 7886; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14237886 - 24 Nov 2021
Viewed by 675
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic had a dramatic effect on the world economy, leading to disturbances in the global agri-food system. Disrupted supply chains caused instability in the market resulting in mixed reactions among market participants. The balance in the access and availability of food [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic had a dramatic effect on the world economy, leading to disturbances in the global agri-food system. Disrupted supply chains caused instability in the market resulting in mixed reactions among market participants. The balance in the access and availability of food was disturbed at various levels starting from local up to international. Partial lockdowns of economies affected the equilibrium on the labor market in the food sector, the level of income and food security. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of shock caused by the COVID-19 pandemic on rates of return from shares of companies in the agri-food sector listed in Poland and Germany, as well as indicate dependencies between restrictions imposed by the investigated countries and changes in the rates of return from shares as a result of the pandemic. The source of data for the analyses of the capital markets in Poland and Germany was the Thomson Reuters database. In order to determine the effect of shock caused by the coronavirus pandemic and restrictions imposed by the states on the capital market the abnormal rates of return were calculated for shares of 24 Polish and 23 German companies from the food sector. The investigated Polish companies were listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange, while the German companies were listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and other stock exchanges in Germany. Calculations were based on stock market indexes: for the Polish stock exchange it was WIG and WIG-food, while for the German capital market it was DAX and DAX Food & Beverages. In this study the Stringency Index was also used as a tool to follow the response of the governments to the coronavirus pandemic. The results indicate that following the pandemic outbreak large reductions were observed for cumulative rates of return from shares as a consequence of the pandemic both in Poland and Germany. Abnormal cumulative rates of return for the investigated companies were comparable. Markedly greater increases in abnormal rates of return were recorded for the Polish companies of the food sector listed at the Warsaw Stock Exchange. The Stringency Index indicates that restrictions imposed by the German authorities in response to the coronavirus pandemic were slightly more radical than those introduced by the Polish government. Full article
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Article
Selected Predictors of Consumer Ethnocentrism in the Food Market (Gender Differences)
Energies 2021, 14(22), 7667; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14227667 - 16 Nov 2021
Viewed by 588
Abstract
This paper aims to identify predictors of consumer ethnocentrism in the food market. An online survey was conducted in a sample of 1000 Polish consumers, which was representative by sex, age, education level, urban–rural divide, and region. The 10-item CETSCALE was applied. In [...] Read more.
This paper aims to identify predictors of consumer ethnocentrism in the food market. An online survey was conducted in a sample of 1000 Polish consumers, which was representative by sex, age, education level, urban–rural divide, and region. The 10-item CETSCALE was applied. In a retrograde stepwise regression model, consumer ethnocentrism in the food market was positively related to tradition and conformity Schwartz values, to the pride of being Polish, and to such product characteristics as the country of origin, distance from the producer, and natural content. It was negatively related to the universalism value and to being a student. To gain further insights into the predictors of consumer ethnocentrism in the food market for either gender, separate regressions were conducted among men and women. Three predictors affected positively and significantly consumer ethnocentrism in the food market both among men and among women, namely the tradition Schwartz value, pride of being Polish, and importance attached to distance covered by the food product from the producer to the shop, which is related to the preference for local food. Moreover, consumer ethnocentrism among men was dependent on their food choice motive–environmental friendliness, whereas consumer ethnocentrism among women was affected by the importance attached to the product’s country of origin, and it was negatively related to women’s younger age. Full article
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Article
Effect of Tillage System and Organic Matter Management Interactions on Soil Chemical Properties and Biological Activity in a Spring Wheat Short-Time Cultivation
Energies 2021, 14(21), 7451; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14217451 - 08 Nov 2021
Viewed by 681
Abstract
Properly selected tillage methods and management of the available organic matter resources are considered important measures to enable farming in accordance with the principles of sustainable agriculture. Depending on the depth and intensity of cultivation, tillage practices affect soil chemical composition, structure and [...] Read more.
Properly selected tillage methods and management of the available organic matter resources are considered important measures to enable farming in accordance with the principles of sustainable agriculture. Depending on the depth and intensity of cultivation, tillage practices affect soil chemical composition, structure and biological activity. The three-year experiment was performed on the soil under spring wheat (cv. Tybalt) short-time cultivation. The influence of different tillage systems and stubble management on the soil’s chemical and biological parameters was analyzed. Organic carbon content (OC); content of biologically available phosphorus (Pa), potassium (Ka), and magnesium (Mg); content of total nitrogen (TN), mineral nitrogen forms: N-NO3 and N-NH4 were determined in various soil samples. Moreover, the total number of microorganisms (TNM), bacteria (B), actinobacteria (A), fungi (F); soil respiratory activity (SR); and pH in 1 M KCl (pH) were also investigated. The results show that organic matter amendment is of greater influence on soil characteristics than the tillage system applied. Manure application, as well as leaving the straw in the field, resulted in higher amounts of organic carbon and biologically available potassium. A significant increase in the number of soil microorganisms was also observed in soil samples from the experimental plots including this procedure. Full article
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Article
The Impact of Consumer Schwartz Values and Regulatory Focus on the Willingness to Pay a Price Premium for Domestic Food Products: Gender Differences
Energies 2021, 14(19), 6198; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14196198 - 28 Sep 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 732
Abstract
This paper aims to identify which Schwartz values and regulatory focus orientations influence consumer behavior on the food market in the domain of preference for domestic products, which is closely related to consumer ethnocentrism. The CAWI (Computer-Assisted Web Interviews) method was applied. The [...] Read more.
This paper aims to identify which Schwartz values and regulatory focus orientations influence consumer behavior on the food market in the domain of preference for domestic products, which is closely related to consumer ethnocentrism. The CAWI (Computer-Assisted Web Interviews) method was applied. The sample consisting of 1000 respondents was representative for the Polish adult population in terms of sex, age, education, place of living (rural vs. urban), and region. The willingness to pay (WTP) a higher price for domestic products was affected by the tradition and universalism values. Consumer value orientations and regulatory focus were more powerful in explaining the WTP than demographic or socio-economic variables. The theories of value orientations and regulatory focus were found to be more relevant for men than for women, as reflected in adjusted regression determination coefficients. Finally, the promotion regulatory focus was a significant predictor of the WTP among men, but not among women. Based on my findings, it is recommended (1) to emphasize the following elements in marketing communications in order to stimulate the purchases of domestic food products: appeals to tradition, customs, ecology, being natural; (2) to take into account the Schwartz values in consumer segmentation on the food market; (3) to differentiate marketing communications for domestic food products on the basis of gender segmentation: in messages addressed to male consumers, arguments appealing to the promotion orientation should be used more frequently. Full article
Article
Assessment of Spatial Diversity of the Potential of the Natural Environment in the Context of Sustainable Development of Poviats in Poland
Energies 2021, 14(19), 6027; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14196027 - 22 Sep 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 409
Abstract
The activities of the poviat are a combination of interrelated factors. The use of natural resources should be carried out in accordance with the principles of sustainable development. The aim of this research was to assess the spatial differentiation of development relationships, the [...] Read more.
The activities of the poviat are a combination of interrelated factors. The use of natural resources should be carried out in accordance with the principles of sustainable development. The aim of this research was to assess the spatial differentiation of development relationships, the natural environment, and ecology of poviats in Poland, using a synthetic measure. Empirical data were collected in the spatial terms of poviats in Poland. The choice of variables was conditioned by the availability of data of the Central Statistical Office for 2010–2019. The assessment of development of poviats indicates disproportions in terms of development variables, as well as the natural environment and ecology, and the existence of a weak impact of natural conditions for development. Poviats distinguished by a higher level of natural environment are not characterized by a higher measure of development. The reason for the low impact of non-financial conditions on the development of poviats is their dependence on transfer from the state budget and the amount of current expenditure. The results may constitute a source of information for local government authorities on the disproportions existing between units, on the determination of directions of development policy optimization in terms of the natural environment and ecology. Full article
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Article
Exploring Sustainable Aspects Regarding the Food Supply Chain, Agri-Food Quality Standards, and Global Trade: An Empirical Study among Experts from the European Union and the United States
Energies 2021, 14(18), 5987; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14185987 - 21 Sep 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 741
Abstract
Sustainability is increasingly a priority in the policies of the European Union, especially in the Common Agricultural Policy. This paper focuses on Sustainable Development Goals, the European Green Deal, and the Farm to Fork Strategy in an attempt to establish a relationship with [...] Read more.
Sustainability is increasingly a priority in the policies of the European Union, especially in the Common Agricultural Policy. This paper focuses on Sustainable Development Goals, the European Green Deal, and the Farm to Fork Strategy in an attempt to establish a relationship with the European Union’s trade policy. Three selected components of the agri-food sector—the food supply chain, agri-food quality standards, and global trade—are examined in relation to defined sustainability aspects. The aim is to understand the interrelationship between the three components with specific regard to sustainability, to highlight their high complexity and current relevance, to contribute to systematic analysis in this area, and to present current progress. This qualitative–explorative study is empirically supported by a survey of market experts, and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership between the European Union and the United States is used as an example. The results show the complexity between the relationships of the three components with a focus on sustainability and reveal a deep uncertainty. The most notable results are the limited level of knowledge and the insufficient attention from business representatives to sustainability aspects. Finally, the study identifies the state of integrating a sustainable perspective into European Union trade policy and provides suggestions for further research. Full article
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Article
Qualitative Research on Solving Difficulties in Maintaining Continuity of Food Supply Chain on the Meat Market during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Energies 2021, 14(18), 5634; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14185634 - 08 Sep 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1878
Abstract
Although the pandemic phenomenon is not the first of its kind in human history, the common feature of COVID-19 is its rapid impact on the global economy. The challenge for the national economy on the world stage is to maintain a continuous food [...] Read more.
Although the pandemic phenomenon is not the first of its kind in human history, the common feature of COVID-19 is its rapid impact on the global economy. The challenge for the national economy on the world stage is to maintain a continuous food supply. The scientific purpose of the study is to report, analyze and evaluate backgrounds, causes of instabilities and their effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on supply and demand side of the meat market in the United States of America, China and Russia. The practical purpose of the study is to present implemented measures and recommendations on how to return to meat market equilibrium. In the theoretical part of the study, the revised public source of information coming from well-known organizations such as: EC, FAO, OECD, and WB, are used. In the practical part of the manuscript, qualitative research on the People’s Republic of China, Russian Federation, and the United States of America, along with semi-structured in-depth interviews with experts and Ishikawa diagram are presented. The primary data come from authors’ own research and collection of multiple sources. The article indicates the use of qualitative systematic review, supported by a creation of a prototype of the issues of maintaining continuity of the food supply chain during the COVID-19 pandemic in the secondary sources, intensified by a keyword search. The results of the research are diverse and oriented toward the needs of the analyzed meat markets. In the case of the People’s Republic of China, the solution is to develop a system of subsidies and preferential rates for the use of rail transport in exports. In the case of Russia, the solution is to provide support to the meat and poultry farmers for cold storage of slaughtered animals. In the case of the USA, the solution is to develop technical and technological facilities in order to speed up the supply chain between local livestock with meat and poultry farmers. Moreover, the outcomes indicate that sustainability of the food supply chain needs well-thought-out support on agri-food supply production. Full article
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Article
Consumer versus Organic Products in the COVID-19 Pandemic: Opportunities and Barriers to Market Development
Energies 2021, 14(17), 5566; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14175566 - 06 Sep 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1587
Abstract
The main objective of this study was to determine the behavior of the Polish consumer of organic products during the COVID-19 pandemic and to identify preferred channels of distribution of organic products in the situation of restricted freedom of movement as well as [...] Read more.
The main objective of this study was to determine the behavior of the Polish consumer of organic products during the COVID-19 pandemic and to identify preferred channels of distribution of organic products in the situation of restricted freedom of movement as well as to assess what information displayed on the labels of organic food was most important to the customer. The research was conducted on a sample of 1108 respondents with the use of CAWI technique collected in an online survey carried out in February–August 2020. To analyze the obtained results, cluster analysis, linear regression model and duplication method were used to verify the substitute channels for purchasing organic goods. The pandemic has intensified the health value of consumers when making decisions about choosing food products. Consumers are sensitive shoppers who read the content of the labels and pay attention to the ingredients of the products they buy. The price is also of significant importance for consumers; however, it is less important than, for example, the expiration date of the purchased product. With the use of PCA analysis, it was possible to identify 18 factors that could be divided into three segments: marketing, practical and sensory. The proposed factors, according to the respondents, had an effect on the purchase of organic products by Polish consumers. Regarding the preferred purchasing channels, the Internet is becoming more and more important. Almost one-quarter of the respondents confirmed that they bought organic products via the above-mentioned distribution channel. Nearly 17% of the surveyed consumers considered the Internet to be an alternative way of doing their shopping. The results obtained in the research can be used in the sector of organic food producers to design marketing strategies and to adapt their offer to the proposed four groups of purchasers of organic products: eco-activists, eco-dietitians, eco-traditionalists, eco-innovators. Full article
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Article
Application of Canonical Variate Analysis to Compare Different Groups of Food Industry Companies in Terms of Financial Liquidity and Profitability
Energies 2021, 14(15), 4701; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14154701 - 03 Aug 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 723
Abstract
Financial liquidity and profitability are two critical phenomena present in the financial economy of a company, whose relations depend on each other and may course in different directions. At the same time, they are an example of the complexity of the problem, which [...] Read more.
Financial liquidity and profitability are two critical phenomena present in the financial economy of a company, whose relations depend on each other and may course in different directions. At the same time, they are an example of the complexity of the problem, which demands a proper approach, allowing one to reconcile two opposing objectives of any enterprise, i.e., maximizing the benefits for the owners and minimizing the risk of losing financial liquidity. Until now, the relationship between liquidity and profitability has not been examined explicitly, using multidimensional methods in particular. Nevertheless, the links between profitability and financial liquidity maintenance ensure the sustainable development of enterprises in different branches. This paper formulates two aims: scientific and practical. The scientific one concerns adopting the canonical variate analysis method to visualize the differences and relationships between food industry companies regarding financial liquidity and profitability. The practical one relates to indicating the relationship between financial liquidity and profitability in different groups of food industry companies. To study the relationships between the selected groups of enterprises and describe them, the liquidity and profitability ratios were utilized, involving canonical variate analysis based on transformation by linear combination and singular value decomposition. The analysis found that the most important feature highlighting the group of the examined entities regarding financial liquidity was the cash conversion cycle. The research results showed the existence of multidirectional relationships between liquidity and profitability. The research indicates that they depend on indicators describing financial dependencies and the industries in which they operate. This led to a much deeper and broader interpretation of the assessment of the financial situation of companies to support their sustainable development. Full article
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Article
Organic Farming Support Policy in a Sustainable Development Context: A Polish Case Study
Energies 2021, 14(14), 4208; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14144208 - 12 Jul 2021
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 1899
Abstract
This paper assesses the extent, scope and importance of financial support for Polish organic farming from 2004 to 2019. The analysis focuses particularly on how the changes in the amount and structure of organic farming payments affected farmers’ interest in specific organic crops [...] Read more.
This paper assesses the extent, scope and importance of financial support for Polish organic farming from 2004 to 2019. The analysis focuses particularly on how the changes in the amount and structure of organic farming payments affected farmers’ interest in specific organic crops during three financing periods: the 2004–2006 Rural Development Plan, the 2007–2013 Rural Development Programme (RDP) and the 2014–2020 Rural Development Programme. This paper aims to answer the question of whether and to what extent the organic farming support policy impacted the development trends followed by, and transformation processes affecting, this sector. It follows from this analysis that in the first decade after joining the European Union, Poland implemented a policy of making payments easily available. It was primarily focused on the quantitative growth of organic farming rather than on stimulating supply. As the payments were easily accessible and decoupled from production, subsidy-oriented farmers were additionally encouraged to seek political rent. This resulted in the instability of a large group of farms who discontinued their organic farming activity in 2014. That year, the policy was amended because of the need to improve the allocation efficiency of subsidies and to couple them with the provision not only of environmental public goods but also of private goods in the form of organic farming products. The current support policy opens up greater opportunities for leveraging the potential of organic farming while reaping environmental and socioeconomic benefits and contributing more than ever to sustainable development. Full article
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Article
Regional Diversity of Technical Efficiency in Agriculture as a Results of an Overinvestment: A Case Study from Poland
Energies 2021, 14(11), 3357; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14113357 - 07 Jun 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 888
Abstract
Ensuring adequate profitability of production, which can be ensured by optimal investments, can encourage farmers to be more caring about sustainable development. Several existing studies indicate that technical efficiency in agriculture varies regionally. Investments comprise a basic way to increase efficiency and thus [...] Read more.
Ensuring adequate profitability of production, which can be ensured by optimal investments, can encourage farmers to be more caring about sustainable development. Several existing studies indicate that technical efficiency in agriculture varies regionally. Investments comprise a basic way to increase efficiency and thus reduce polarisation between regions. However, contrary to established assumptions, not every investment leads to increased efficiency, which entails a phenomenon of overinvestment. Investments should, by definition, be positively correlated with efficiency. However, existing studies indicate the existence of a significant problem of overinvestment, where increased efficiency may not occur. While for about 40% of farms in Poland the scale of investments can be assessed as optimal, more than quarter of farms exhibited absolute overinvestment and nearly one in five farms is underinvested. In response to this problem, this study aimed to identify regional differences in Poland with regard to overinvestment in farms, as well as to determine changes in farm efficiency depending on the region and level of overinvestment. The source material used in the following article consisted of unpublished Farm Accountancy Data Network (FADN) microdata derived from the DG AGRI of the European Commission. The study covered the period 2004–2015. For an original classification of farms according to their level of overinvestment the technical efficiency, using the stochastic frontier analysis approach, was used for determining regional differences that occurred as a result of overinvestment. Stochastic frontier analysis shown noticeable differences in the average technical efficiency for different overinvestment groups. As expected, underinvested farms are the least efficient (general in Poland and in all analyzed regions) and average technical efficiency did not increase. Interestingly, optimally investing farms do not have the highest technical efficiency. Higher efficiency was achieved by both relatively and absolutely overinvested farms. This is due to the fact that in order to produce efficiently in agriculture, it is necessary to at least maintain the level of tangible assets provision, and preferably to increase it as well. In terms of overinvestment levels, farm structure does not differ significantly between individual regions in Poland. However, there are differences between regions in terms of farm efficiency within each group. In all regions, only the underinvested farms did not increase their efficiency over the period under review and the highest efficiency growth rate was in regions where farms were least efficient at baseline. Full article
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Article
Food Sector as an Interactive Business World: A Framework for Research on Innovations
Energies 2021, 14(11), 3312; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14113312 - 04 Jun 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 846
Abstract
The objective of this paper is to enhance the dominant research perspective of innovations in the food market (power or supply chain centric) with an interactive/network approach. Many scholars identify the development challenges facing the food sector, including economic factors, changes in lifestyle, [...] Read more.
The objective of this paper is to enhance the dominant research perspective of innovations in the food market (power or supply chain centric) with an interactive/network approach. Many scholars identify the development challenges facing the food sector, including economic factors, changes in lifestyle, climate change, changes to the food consumption mix, shrinkage of Earth’s resources and interactions between food production and the environment, in the context of sustainable development. A new approach to innovations in the food market may shift it towards a more sustainable path of development. Based on a literature review, we present the specific conditions for innovation in the food market and discuss previous research as being focused on the power of operators and flows in supply chains. Methodologically, this paper puts these considerations in the context of interaction and business networks. We note that the concept of power and dependence can be embedded with the concept of interdependence, and flows in supply chains can be replaced by the concept of cooperation in business networks. We conceptualize a research framework based on innovative activities in business relationships and networks and we propose the following themes as research avenues for further research: (1) What drives innovation in food ecosystems? (2) When is the power-centric approach to innovations more effective than taking the perspective of interdependence? (3) How do network-born innovations develop in the food sector? (4) How do actors handle innovation in their business models? (5) What is the impact of innovations on the food sector? Full article
Article
Developing a Methodology for Aggregated Assessment of the Economic Sustainability of Pig Farms
Energies 2021, 14(6), 1760; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14061760 - 22 Mar 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 962
Abstract
The economic sustainability of agricultural production is a crucial concern for most farmers, especially for pig producers who face dynamic changes in the market. Approaches for economic sustainability assessment found in the literature are mainly focused on the short-term economic viability of the [...] Read more.
The economic sustainability of agricultural production is a crucial concern for most farmers, especially for pig producers who face dynamic changes in the market. Approaches for economic sustainability assessment found in the literature are mainly focused on the short-term economic viability of the farm and rarely take a long-term perspective. In this paper, we propose and test a new, innovative assessment and aggregation method, which brings about a broader view on more long-term aspects of economic sustainability. This wider view on economic sustainability, in addition to classical concepts such as technical efficiency, labor productivity, and farm profitability, incorporates the assessment of the levels of entrepreneurship, risk management, and the resilience of the invested resources. All indicators were scaled and aggregated using scaling and weighting procedures proposed by experts into subthemes and themes. The methodology was tested on a sample of 131 pig farms located in 6 EU countries: Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Finland, and Austria. We hypothesized that closed-cycle farms might be economically more sustainable than those farms that are specialized in pig breeding or finishing. The results showed that closed-cycle farms do indeed have advantages in terms of raising healthy animals and having slightly better overall resilience of resources, however specialized breeding and finishing farms appeared to be more sustainable in the areas of profitability, risk management, and reproductive efficiency. Our approach supports evidence-based economic sustainability assessments of pig farms and provides a tool that can be used for economic sustainability improvement strategies for farms. Full article
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