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Special Issue "Sustainable Agribusiness and Food Marketing"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Food".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Daniel Vecchiato
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Land, Environment, Agriculture and Forestry, University of Padova, Via dell'Università 16, 35020 Legnaro (PD), Italy
Interests: non-market valuation; agribusiness; consumer demand; food marketing; land and farm appraisal
Prof. Eugenio Demartini
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Veterinary Science for Health, Animal Production and Food Safety, University of Milano, Via dell’Università 6, 26900 Lodi (LO), Italy
Interests: consumers’ behavior and preferences; food marketing; cognitive biases
Prof. Dr. Tiziano Tempesta
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Land, Environment, Agriculture and Forestry, Università degli Studi di Padova, 35020 Legnaro Padova, Italy
Interests: farmland appraisal; environmental economics; landscape and economy
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Anna Gaviglio
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Veterinary Science for Health, Animal Production and Food Safety, University of Milano, Via dell’Università 6, 26900 Lodi (LO), Italy
Interests: farm economic appraisal; food marketing; consumers’ behavior and preferences; decision support policies; assessment of the sustainability

Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues,

Improving the sustainability of food production is one of the most challenging targets for the agri-food sector. A sustainable food production system should consider several issues related to the three pillars of sustainability: environment, society, and economics. The environmental pillar requires food production to minimize its impact on climate change, preserve landscape, biodiversity, and water and soil quality. From a social and economic perspective, sustainable food production should ensure safe and healthy foods, good quality at affordable prices, and work inclusion and preservation of jobs in the food industry.

However, despite the demand of public institutions, policymakers, and consumers for environmental-friendly and socially viable production methods, several critical aspects often constrain food production and consumption to perform below the most sustainable options. Challenges for sustainable food production relate to technical inefficiencies in farming activity and food transformation and distribution. At the end of the supply chain, final consumers also play a crucial role in terms of food waste, preferences, and dietarian habits. Given these premises, it is clear that all participants in the agri-food sector must “find new ways to reduce inputs, minimise waste, improve management of resource stocks, change consumption patterns, optimise production processes, management and business methods, and improve logistics” (Europe 2020 strategy—A resource-efficient Europe).

Over recent decades the food system faced what is referred to as ‘chain reversal’ (Linnemann, Benner, Verkerk, and van Boekel, 2006), changing from a predominantly supply-driven model, to a more demand-driven one. Consumer preferences are, therefore, crucial in orienting food production, and modern consumers are paying more attention to the intrinsic characteristics of the food they buy such as the use of pesticides, the absence of child labor in food production, organic and fair-trade regulations, animal welfare, packaging, and innovative food technology characteristics. In this respect, consumer demand could be an important driver in ensuring sustainable food production.

This Special Issue focuses on collecting advances in research that consider the three pillars of sustainability (environmental, social, and economic) along with modern food production and consumption patterns. Among such advances, the Special Issue welcomes research that considers the following topics related to sustainable food production and consumption:

  • Organic food production
  • Fairtrade
  • Social farming
  • Food waste
  • Water preservation
  • Sustainable packaging
  • Animal welfare
  • CO2 emissions and climate change mitigation
  • Consumer preferences for meat substitutes
  • The impact of new diets and consumption trends (omnivorous, vegetarian, vegan) on sustainable food production
  • Food security and labeling
  • Local production
  • Landscape preservation.

We are particularly interested in research that contributes to advancing marketing strategies that ensure sustainability in the agri-food business. Such research usually applies economic valuation methodologies like discrete choice experiments, contingent valuation, conjoint analysis, and experimental auctions to study consumer preferences and their willingness to pay for different food characteristics.

References:

Europe 2020 strategy—A resource-efficient Europe: https://ec.europa.eu/info/strategy/priorities-2019-2024

Linnemann, A.R.; Benner, M.; Verkerk, R.; van Boekel, M.A.J.S. Consumer-driven food product development. Trends Food Sci. Technol. 2006, 17, 184–190. doi:https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.1016/j.tifs.2005.11.015

Prof. Daniel Vecchiato
Prof. Eugenio Demartini
Prof. Tiziano Tempesta
Prof. Anna Gaviglio
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability 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 1900 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

  • Food
  • Sustainable food demand
  • Marketing
  • Economic valuation
  • Agribusiness
  • Consumer behavior

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Article
On the Mechanics of the Organic Label Effect: How Does Organic Labeling Change Consumer Evaluation of Food Products?
Sustainability 2021, 13(3), 1260; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13031260 - 26 Jan 2021
Viewed by 669
Abstract
The literature on the effect of organic labels on consumers’ perception of food products has grown significantly over the last two decades. Since the number of empirical studies has also increased greatly, a literature review revealing the operational definitions of the organic label [...] Read more.
The literature on the effect of organic labels on consumers’ perception of food products has grown significantly over the last two decades. Since the number of empirical studies has also increased greatly, a literature review revealing the operational definitions of the organic label effect (OLE), which have evolved among researchers, has become necessary. Accordingly, in the current article, 82 studies are reviewed. It was found that studies cluster around two interpretations: they define the OLE either as a change in the evaluation of a given product or as a change in the evaluation of the difference between an organic and a conventional product resulted from organic labeling. We term the first approach the absolute OLE and the latter the relative OLE. Our analysis shows that, when applied separately, these two interpretations might lead to significantly different measurement results, but they can be merged into one concept. We argue that organic labeling affects not only the evaluation of products receiving the organic label but the evaluation of competing products without such a label as well. We reveal that the relative OLE is equivalent to the difference between the absolute effects of organic labeling on the labeled and on the unlabeled products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Agribusiness and Food Marketing)
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Article
How Does Consumers’ Care for Origin Shape Their Behavioural Gap for Environmentally Friendly Products?
Sustainability 2021, 13(1), 190; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13010190 - 28 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 869
Abstract
Climate change is threatening worldwide crop yields and varieties, and the desertification of Southern Europe and Mediterranean areas is endangering the cultivation of tomato, not only one of the most important cultivated crops, but also one of the main pillars of the global [...] Read more.
Climate change is threatening worldwide crop yields and varieties, and the desertification of Southern Europe and Mediterranean areas is endangering the cultivation of tomato, not only one of the most important cultivated crops, but also one of the main pillars of the global food industry. To minimize its environmental impact, current research efforts in Europe are selecting resilient tomato genotypes with reduced use of water and fertilizers. Still, its commercial acceptance depends on consumers’ reaction in terms of interests, attitudes, and willingness to buy and pay for this hypothetical resilient tomato. In our setting, a behavioural gap exists whenever despite an interest for the product, and regardless of a positive attitude towards it, consumers are not willing to pay a premium price for this tomato. This paper focuses on Italians, among the largest tomato consumers across the world, and for whom origin emerges as a relevant consumption driver. We carried out a web-survey, totalling 932 responses. We ran three different ordinal regressions, one for each level of involvement in the purchasing process, identifying the factors affecting consumers’ interest, attitude, and behaviour towards this hypothetical tomato. We prove the existence of a behavioural gap for Italian tomato consumers and observe that this gap widens as consumers’ preferences for origin increase. Hence, policies developing environmentally sustainable products should not forget how consumer preferences for non-strictly environmental attributes might ultimately affect their propensity to buy and pay. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Agribusiness and Food Marketing)
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