Special Issue "Agrifood Value Chains in Developed and Developing Countries: Issues and Perspectives"

A special issue of Social Sciences (ISSN 2076-0760). This special issue belongs to the section "Social Economics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2019)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Cesar Revoredo Giha

Land Economy, Environment and Society Research Group, Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), Edinburgh EH9 3JG, UK
Website | E-Mail
Interests: agrifood supply chains operation (agriculture, processing, distribution, retailing, and consumption) and their environment, industrial organisation, international trade, and econometrics
Guest Editor
Dr. Carlo Russo

Department of Economics and Law, University of Cassino and Southern Lazio, Viale dell'Università, 03043 Cassino FR, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: the industrial organization of the agrifood chain; applied micro-econometrics; use of farm-level statistics; agricultural cooperatives

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This is a time of great changes in agrifood value chains worldwide. Emerging distinctive characteristics (such as differentiation, variety, coordination and hybrid organizations, consumer value co-creation, and innovative business practices) move the functioning of modern agricultural markets away from the canon of perfect competition or static market power. These frameworks guided the analysis of the agrifood system for decades, but now scholars and researchers are called on to explore new fields and topics in the industrial organisation of agrifood markets.

Agrifood value chains comprise a wide diversity of products and companies operating in different markets and selling a variety of food products. The regulatory framework affects the food supply chain at all levels from the agricultural sector down to the retail sector; however, it varies widely in terms of the aspects considered (e.g., product quality), as well as the degree of enforcement depending on whether it operates in a developed or developing country.

The degree of market power held by the firms along the chain varies by product category, depending on the relevant markets in which these firms operate. It has an impact on the contractual relationships between the chain participants and can influence several of the outcomes in agricultural markets. The increasing complexity in the structure of food systems is reflected in the elements of the operation of today’s agrifood supply chains such as the increasing importance of food price rigidity, asymmetric price transmission, price volatility, non-price competition, product differentiation, complex business practices, contracts, or long-run incentives, just to name some of them.

The goal of this Special Issue is to bring together trends in the industrial organisation of agrifood value chains, considering both developed and developing countries. Papers may address one or more of the aspects indicated below in the keywords.

Dr. Cesar Revoredo Giha
Dr. Carlo Russo
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 double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Social Sciences 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 Charges (APCs) of 350 CHF (Swiss Francs) per published paper are partially funded by institutions through Knowledge Unlatched for a limited number of papers per year. Please contact the editorial office before submission to check whether KU waivers, or discounts are still available. 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

  • estimation of market/bargaining power
  • analysis of business practices, partnerships, and pricing strategies
  • consumers, creation of consumer value, and implication for the supply chain
  • Competition effects of private labels, branding, and brand value
  • Innovation and its impact on the organisation of agrifood value chains
  • Price transmission and price transparency
  • Negotiation, contracting, use of standards, and coordination in supply chains
  • Countervailing power, agricultural cooperatives, and producer organizations

Published Papers (7 papers)

View options order results:
result details:
Displaying articles 1-7
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review

Open AccessArticle
Pricing Strategies in the Italian Retail Sector: The Case of Pasta
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(4), 113; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8040113
Received: 21 February 2019 / Revised: 20 March 2019 / Accepted: 29 March 2019 / Published: 4 April 2019
PDF Full-text (242 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the last years, Italian food retailing has experienced some developments related to rising concentration levels, heterogeneous distribution along the country of the different outlet categories, and an increase of products sold as private brand labels. In the Italian agro-food industry, pasta represents [...] Read more.
In the last years, Italian food retailing has experienced some developments related to rising concentration levels, heterogeneous distribution along the country of the different outlet categories, and an increase of products sold as private brand labels. In the Italian agro-food industry, pasta represents a strategic product, since Italy has the peculiarity of being, at the same time, the main producer and consumer of pasta. A useful way to investigate food retailers’ behavior and strategies is to derive a measure of price rigidity, through a “frequency approach”, which permits computation of both regular prices and price promotions, and the frequency and the magnitude of price increases and decreases. We employ such methodology in order to evaluate retailers’ strategies in the Italian pasta market in terms of price rigidity and price promotions according to brand categories (Italian pasta brands versus private label brands) and regional areas for the period 2011–2013. The results show that retailers’ strategies for national pasta brands, in terms of price rigidity and price promotions, are completely different with respect to private label brands. Among the various national pasta brands, retailers adopt different strategies by, in various regional cases, employing the tool of price promotion rather than intervening with regular price changes. Full article
Open AccessArticle
The Impact of Plant Variety Protection Regulations on the Governance of Agri-Food Value Chains
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(3), 91; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8030091
Received: 21 January 2019 / Revised: 6 March 2019 / Accepted: 6 March 2019 / Published: 11 March 2019
PDF Full-text (968 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
More than 25 years after the 1991 reform of the Union for the Protection of New Plant Varieties (UPOV) treaty, the regulation of Plant Variety Protection (PVP) is still controversial. While the incentives to private innovations are unquestionable, concerns have been raised about [...] Read more.
More than 25 years after the 1991 reform of the Union for the Protection of New Plant Varieties (UPOV) treaty, the regulation of Plant Variety Protection (PVP) is still controversial. While the incentives to private innovations are unquestionable, concerns have been raised about farmers’ access to resources, the weakening of their bargaining power, their entrepreneurial freedom, and ultimately their welfare. Our paper investigates the effect of PVP regulation on the governance of agri-food value chains (AFVC) with a small-scale survey of kiwi producers in Italy. We found that AFVC trading-protected (club) plant varieties are more likely to exhibit captive governance forms than those trading the free varieties. Nevertheless, the producers of club kiwis achieve higher returns from their investments and bear less risk than others. Because of the high demand for the club fruits, the breeders must give farmers highly profitable contract terms in order to elicit the production and to promote the adoption of the new cultivar. As a consequence, farmers are capturing a share of the value of innovation, even if the breeders have a strong protection. The long-run sustainability of this win-win agreement between breeders and farmers might be jeopardized should the demand for the new varieties fall. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Modelling Price Transmission within the Supply Chain under a European Protected Designation of Origin Framework: The Case of Parmigiano Reggiano in Italy
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(3), 87; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8030087
Received: 27 January 2019 / Revised: 28 February 2019 / Accepted: 4 March 2019 / Published: 8 March 2019
PDF Full-text (1068 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Lately, we have witnessed how European Institutions have directed many efforts at improving the effectiveness of food quality schemes (FQS) to address the increasing complexity that has affected all elements of the operating structure of agrifood supply chains worldwide, especially prices. In this [...] Read more.
Lately, we have witnessed how European Institutions have directed many efforts at improving the effectiveness of food quality schemes (FQS) to address the increasing complexity that has affected all elements of the operating structure of agrifood supply chains worldwide, especially prices. In this paper, we conduct a comparative analysis of the price transmission process in the dairy sector between farm and retail markets within the protected designation of origin (PDO) framework and its non-protected counterpart in Italy. This paper considers a unique dataset for the PDO Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and for a non-protected counterpart in Italy covering a recent period after the price crises that took place nearly a decade ago. A multivariate error correction type approach was estimated together with the corresponding impulse response functions to provide useful insights for understanding the differences in the performance of the price transmission process between protected and non-protected food products. Contrary to most of the previous literature, our results support the hypothesis of symmetric price dynamics along the PDO cheese supply chain. The fewer number of farmers reduces the market power at the retail level generating more efficient price transmission dynamics. Short-run dynamics suggest that in the PDO cheese market farmers and retailers react quicker and with a similar magnitude to market changes, while in the conventional cheese market, retailers benefit in the short run from quicker and of higher magnitude responses to unanticipated market shocks. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Measuring the Degree of Integration in the Dairy Products Market in Malawi
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(2), 66; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8020066
Received: 4 January 2019 / Revised: 7 February 2019 / Accepted: 15 February 2019 / Published: 20 February 2019
PDF Full-text (531 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Using monthly data for the period 2006–2011, this study analyzed the degree of spatial market integration in Malawi focusing on two dairy products (liquid milk and powdered milk) sold in the four major towns of the country. The analysis of spatial market integration [...] Read more.
Using monthly data for the period 2006–2011, this study analyzed the degree of spatial market integration in Malawi focusing on two dairy products (liquid milk and powdered milk) sold in the four major towns of the country. The analysis of spatial market integration is important to assess whether to re-establish a dairy processing facility in the northern part of the country. The empirical analysis comprised of the following steps: (1) Integration between prices from different regions were tested using Johansen’s cointegration procedure, with the results indicating that, in the long run, prices in some areas move in a similar direction. (2) Two spatial equilibrium models were estimated using a three-regime bivariate threshold vector autoregressive model (TVAR) and a three-regime threshold vector error correction model (TVECM). The results showed that transaction costs were not a cause for concern between the areas thus northern Malawi does not need to re-establish a dairy processing facility as surplus areas (mainly Southern Malawi) can supply the region. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Farmers’ Bargaining Power and Input Prices: What Can We Learn from Self-Reported Assessments?1
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(2), 63; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8020063
Received: 30 November 2018 / Revised: 5 February 2019 / Accepted: 13 February 2019 / Published: 18 February 2019
PDF Full-text (468 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
One of the key challenges in improving our understanding of farmers’ relations with input suppliers is that we do not have direct information about farmers’ bargaining power vis-à-vis their input providers. To overcome this problem, this study used farmers’ self-reported assessments of their [...] Read more.
One of the key challenges in improving our understanding of farmers’ relations with input suppliers is that we do not have direct information about farmers’ bargaining power vis-à-vis their input providers. To overcome this problem, this study used farmers’ self-reported assessments of their position in the supply chain. Using unique micro-survey data from the dairy sector in Poland, we constructed a proxy of farmers’ bargaining power and showed that it helps to explain discounts at which farmers buy feed from input suppliers, in addition to what is explained by the standard variables. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Introduction of New Food Products in China: Is There a Trend towards Healthier and Safer Products?
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(2), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8020051
Received: 14 January 2019 / Revised: 4 February 2019 / Accepted: 6 February 2019 / Published: 13 February 2019
PDF Full-text (1356 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Chinese society has undergone an important transformation in the last 20 years, with changes in lifestyles due to increasing urbanization and rising income levels. The emergence of modern supermarkets, convenience stores, and hypermarkets has run alongside the changes in consumers’ lifestyles, revolutionizing [...] Read more.
The Chinese society has undergone an important transformation in the last 20 years, with changes in lifestyles due to increasing urbanization and rising income levels. The emergence of modern supermarkets, convenience stores, and hypermarkets has run alongside the changes in consumers’ lifestyles, revolutionizing the Chinese food system and the nature of its food supply. Changes in food consumption patterns have also accompanied these shifts. One of the distinguishing aspects of this modern food sector is the continuous introduction of new foods and beverages to the market, and the communication of their associated attributes through labels, in-store displays, and advertising. The purpose of this paper is to explore whether there have been any trends towards the introduction of products with greater health, nutrition, and food safety attributes to help consumers attain healthier diets making trade-offs between purchase options. Results show that there has been a rise in the number of new products in the Chinese food retail sector, particularly branded products introduced mainly by Chinese companies making food safety claims. It is clear, however, that the new food and drink products follow the consumption trends highlighted in the literature, and, therefore, there are low chances that they will positively influence the Chinese diet to an important degree, as they are mainly reinforcing the observed dietary trends. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview
Global Crop Value Chains: Shifts and Challenges in South-North Relations
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(3), 85; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8030085
Received: 30 November 2018 / Revised: 27 February 2019 / Accepted: 28 February 2019 / Published: 7 March 2019
PDF Full-text (317 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The worldwide importance of crop production is undisputed due to its function for basic nutrition of billions of people. Yet, the emergence of global forces implies severe consequences for the organization of crop value chains. These forces particularly include processes of liberalization and [...] Read more.
The worldwide importance of crop production is undisputed due to its function for basic nutrition of billions of people. Yet, the emergence of global forces implies severe consequences for the organization of crop value chains. These forces particularly include processes of liberalization and deregulation, the dominance of large retail groups as well as ever-changing consumer demands, leading to continuous reconfigurations of crop value chains. Based on a literature review, this paper aims at thematically ‘organizing’ and differentiating the key findings of relevant empirical studies on global crop value chains, with a particular focus on South-North relations. Thereby, current shifts and challenges are identified and analysed with special attention paid to spatio-relational dimensions. The spatial perspective is important since crop value chains both shape and are shaped by specific geographical settings which is, among others, considered in the growing literature on food geographies. Overall, we could extract three strands of literature on global crop value chains: the integration of smallholders; the role of food standards; and the effect of ‘hidden’ dynamics. These issues especially reveal the interdependencies between the Global South and the Global North as a crucial feature of contemporary crop production and distribution systems. These are A further outcome of the literature analysis is the derivation of suggestions regarding future research and areas of needed progress. Full article
Soc. Sci. EISSN 2076-0760 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top