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Sustainable Agricultural Economy and Marketing Management

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2022) | Viewed by 21652

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment, Università degli Studi di Catania, 95124 Catania, Italy
Interests: economy and agricultural policy; economy of agricultural markets; marketing management and agribusiness; economy of the agro-food system
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Department of Agricultural, Food and Forest Sciences, University of Palermo, 90100 Palermo, Italy
Interests: agricultural economics; food products marketing; wine marketing; wine tourism; experiential marketing; multivariate statistical analysis and sampling studies on consumers; focus groups; food product quality and consumer perception; consumer behavior
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Department of Agricultural, Food and Environment (Di3A), Section of Agri-Food Economics, University of Catania, 95124 Catania, Italy
Interests: marketing of agri-food products; policies of protection and valorization of quality agri-food products; agro biodiversity; social agriculture; rural development policies
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The aim of the special issue is to develop knowledge and common innovative solutions for Sustainable Agricultural Economy and Marketing Management.

In a global pandemic and economic emergency caused by Covid-19, it is certainly important to do research and talk about sustainable agriculture.

The term sustainable agriculture has been given many definitions, many of which seem to agree in defining sustainability as a characteristic of the performance of agricultural systems as a whole, rather than trying to define sustainable agricultural practices, methods or enterprises.

Although sustainable agriculture is a difficult term to define operationally, it also includes the practice of low-input agricultural production technologies.

Recalling that sustainable agriculture includes the sustainability of agricultural production and agricultural marketing, the sustainability of the rural economy, ecological and environmental sustainability within agricultural systems and the sustainability of rural society.

Limited consideration was given to marketing as a means to improve the overall sustainability of agriculture.

Agricultural marketing could generate gains in both production and wages throughout the economy, drive up agricultural producer prices, and reduce consumer food prices.

However, there is still limited marketing information given to farmers that is relatively useful to help them in their quest for sustainability. Much of the marketing information that has been provided focuses, only on added value, as strategies for increasing profits rather than improving the overall sustainability of food systems.

This special issue is designed following a markedly interdisciplinary logic and focuses on the theme of sustainability, trying to explain the economics of agricultural marketing and sustainable development, also emphasizing the importance and objectives of agricultural marketing.

It intercepts experts in the field of corporate sustainability management, declined in its characterizing dimensions of economic-financial, social, environmental, governance and sustainability policies.

This special issue includes contributions that present both conceptual frameworks, systematic reviews of the literature, and empirical results.

The following list of topics is by no means exhaustive; they are simply suggestions for scientific investigation.

Sustainable Agro-food studies, Agricultural systems, Agricultural politics, Agricultural economics, Agricultural policy, Agro-industrial chains, Behavioural economics, Business economics, Marketing management, Psychology, Educational quality, Research quality assessment, Research strategy, Capacity building, Agribusiness, Agricultural development, Food tourism, Business administration, Strategic management, Development economics, etc.

The papers are going to be valued based on their originality and the coherence with the objective of the Special Issue with the purpose to collect the contributions on an actual topic that will contribute in the future to the sustainability of agricultural economics, and marketing management systems and to activate an interdisciplinary comparison internationally.

Dr. Claudio Bellia
Dr. Marzia Ingrassia
Prof. Dr. Vera Teresa Foti
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 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. 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 2400 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

  • sustainable agricultural
  • agricultural marketing
  • marketing of agri-food products
  • quality and consumer acceptance of agro-food products
  • economy and agricultural policy
  • economy of agricultural markets
  • marketing management and agribusiness
  • economy of the agro-food system
  • policies of protection and valorization of quality agri-food products
  • experiential marketing and sensory marketing
  • behavior and preferences of consumers of agro-food products
  • food policy economics
  • economics of food consumption

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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14 pages, 2250 KiB  
Article
New Characteristics in the Fermentation Process of Cocoa (Theobroma cacao L.) “Super Árbol” in La Joya de los Sachas, Ecuador
by Maritza Sanchez-Capa, Samuel Viteri-Sanchez, Armando Burbano-Cachiguango, Mauricio Abril-Donoso, Tannia Vargas-Tierras, Sandra Suarez-Cedillo and Carlos Mestanza-Ramón
Sustainability 2022, 14(13), 7564; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14137564 - 21 Jun 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2503
Abstract
In Ecuador, since 2005 in the northern Amazon, trinitario hybrid cacao mother plants characterized by early and abundant fruiting, known as “Super árbol”, have been identified. This genetic material was disseminated in the region, but most of the available information corresponds to empirical [...] Read more.
In Ecuador, since 2005 in the northern Amazon, trinitario hybrid cacao mother plants characterized by early and abundant fruiting, known as “Super árbol”, have been identified. This genetic material was disseminated in the region, but most of the available information corresponds to empirical knowledge. In this sense, the present study aimed to evaluate different fermentation techniques in the “Super árbol” cocoa by analyzing physical and chemical variables in the climatic conditions of the Joya de Los Sachas canton to establish differences between the group of genetic material of the “Super árbol” cocoa with respect to the “Arriba” variety, which is considered a reference in Ecuador. The physical and chemical parameters evaluated were: fermentation rate, weight of 100 beans, pH cotyledon, beans shell, protein, ash, lipid, and total polyphenols. The study was conducted under a completely randomized design with three factors. A Spearman correlation analysis was performed, followed by the establishment of a model for each variable and the use of Tukey’s test to establish the difference between means of treatments and a Levene’s test to test homogeneity. The “Super árbol” cocoa reported fermentation percentages between 64.33 and 95%, testa percentages between 13.28 and 18.08%, and polyphenol content between 48.46–55.54 GAE/g DW. Thus, this genetic material of the “Super árbol” trinity group has characteristics that reach higher fermentation percentages compared with the “Arriba” variety. In addition, it has a lower polyphenol content (less bitter and astringent), which leads to a better-quality raw chocolate material. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Agricultural Economy and Marketing Management)
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26 pages, 1013 KiB  
Article
Is Environmental Sustainability Also “Economically Efficient”? The Case of the “SOStain” Certification for Sicilian Sparkling Wines
by Marzia Ingrassia, Stefania Chironi, Giuseppe Lo Grasso, Luciano Gristina, Nicola Francesca, Simona Bacarella, Pietro Columba and Luca Altamore
Sustainability 2022, 14(12), 7359; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14127359 - 16 Jun 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1898
Abstract
The Italian wine industry is strongly committed to sustainability. Among the numerous sustainability certifications and programs implemented in Italy for the wine sector, SOStain is the oldest at the regional level. The SOStain Foundation promotes the voluntary application of a sustainability program, developed [...] Read more.
The Italian wine industry is strongly committed to sustainability. Among the numerous sustainability certifications and programs implemented in Italy for the wine sector, SOStain is the oldest at the regional level. The SOStain Foundation promotes the voluntary application of a sustainability program, developed in 2010 in Sicily (Southern Italy). The requirements of the SOStain specifications are connected to the new CAP 2023–2027 objectives; therefore, companies preparing for the new challenges of future winemaking might be interested in joining the SOStain Foundation for greening production practices. The objective of this study was to learn producers’ and consumers’ opinions about motivations, real/perceived difficulties, cost, and positive effects of the SOStain certification, as well as their intentions to make ethical choices and their willingness to spend more for a Sicilian sparkling wine with the SOStain certification. A census of producers combined with a consumer survey and focus groups were carried out. Multidimensional scaling was used to discover the polarization of producers’/consumers’ opinions regarding the SOStain certification. The findings highlighted the effect of ethical choices, despite sensory likings, on purchasing intentions and issues related to higher costs of production and market prices. The results highlighted the criticalities of the green transition for wineries and the importance of correct communication through social media. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Agricultural Economy and Marketing Management)
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25 pages, 5427 KiB  
Article
Blockchain Adoption to Secure the Food Industry: Opportunities and Challenges
by Sudeep Tanwar, Akshay Parmar, Aparna Kumari, Nilesh Kumar Jadav, Wei-Chiang Hong and Ravi Sharma
Sustainability 2022, 14(12), 7036; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14127036 - 08 Jun 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3586
Abstract
With the growth in food products’ usage, ensuring their quality and safety has become progressively difficult. Specifically, food traceability turns out to be a very critical task for retailers, sellers, consumers, surveillance authorities, and other stakeholders in the food supply chain system. There [...] Read more.
With the growth in food products’ usage, ensuring their quality and safety has become progressively difficult. Specifically, food traceability turns out to be a very critical task for retailers, sellers, consumers, surveillance authorities, and other stakeholders in the food supply chain system. There are requirements for food authenticity verification (correct declaration of cultivation, origin, and variety), quality checks (e.g., justification for higher prices), and preventing food products from fraudsters in the food industry. The ubiquitous and promising technology of blockchain ensures the traceability of food trade networks with high potential and handles the aforementioned issues. Blockchain makes the food industry more transparent at all levels by storing data immutably and enabling quick tracking across the stages of the food supply chain. Hence, commodities, stakeholders, and semi-finished food items can be recognized significantly faster. Motivated by these facts, in this paper, we present an in-depth survey of state-of-the-art approaches to the food industry’s security, food traceability, and food supply chain management. Further, we propose a blockchain-based secure and decentralized food industry architecture to alleviate security and privacy aspects and present a comprehensive solution taxonomy for a blockchain-based food industry. Then, a comparative analysis of existing approaches with respect to various parameters, i.e., scalability, latency, and food quality, is presented, which facilitates the end-user in selecting approaches based on the merits over other approaches. Finally, we provide insights into the open issues and research challenges with concluding remarks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Agricultural Economy and Marketing Management)
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17 pages, 2168 KiB  
Article
Investigating the Drivers of Sustainable Consumption and Their Impact on Online Purchase Intentions for Agricultural Products
by Adil Zia, Musaad Alzahrani, Abdullah Alomari and Fahad AlGhamdi
Sustainability 2022, 14(11), 6563; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14116563 - 27 May 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2710
Abstract
This research is an attempt to explore the drivers of sustainable consumption and their impact on online purchase intentions (OPI) for agricultural products. To this aim, social influence (SI) and quality assurance (QA) were identified as the drivers of sustainable consumption leading to [...] Read more.
This research is an attempt to explore the drivers of sustainable consumption and their impact on online purchase intentions (OPI) for agricultural products. To this aim, social influence (SI) and quality assurance (QA) were identified as the drivers of sustainable consumption leading to the formation of OPI. The input from the technology acceptance model (TAM) and unified theory of acceptance and use of technology (UTAUT) has been incorporated to develop a model that explains the formation of OPI. Primary data were collected from 612 respondents and subjected to partial least square (PLS) analysis. The impact of SI and QA on OPI was found to be positively significant. Furthermore, the influence of perceived value (PV) as a mediator for the SI–OPI relationship has been discovered to be positively significant. This shows that as the PV increases, the influence of SI also increases. However, when the perceived risk (PR) was introduced as a mediator for the QA–OPI relationship, the influence of QA on OPI became insignificant. SI and QA impacts are the most important aspects that influence OPI according to this study, which is useful information for agricultural enterprises and online vendors. It is proposed that the SI and QA impacts might be exploited as a new tool to influence customers’ OPI for agricultural firms and online sellers. Therefore, managers must work to produce greater levels of PV in online purchases and reduce the PR in order to develop OPI for sustainable consumption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Agricultural Economy and Marketing Management)
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16 pages, 320 KiB  
Article
Country Distance and Entry Mode Choice of MNEs in Vietnam’s Agricultural Sector in Context of Free Trade
by Nguyet Nguyen, Ha Thi Hoang Tran and Tuan Duong Vu
Sustainability 2022, 14(6), 3164; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14063164 - 08 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2147
Abstract
In this article, we focus on tackling a relative research gap: how country distance (institutional, cultural, economic, and geographical distance) determines the entry mode choice between wholly-owned enterprises (WOEs) and joint venture enterprises (JVEs) in the context of “going global”. Based on a [...] Read more.
In this article, we focus on tackling a relative research gap: how country distance (institutional, cultural, economic, and geographical distance) determines the entry mode choice between wholly-owned enterprises (WOEs) and joint venture enterprises (JVEs) in the context of “going global”. Based on a sample of 439 multinational enterprises (MNEs) from 22 different nations that directly invested in the agricultural sector of Vietnam in the period 1996–2019, an empirical investigation has been conducted by employing logistic regression. The results show that as cultural and geographical distances increase, MNEs prefer JVE forms. However, WOE becomes more popular in cases of large economic and institutional distance. Furthermore, entry mode choices of MNEs are also noticeably impacted by freedom of trade. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Agricultural Economy and Marketing Management)
13 pages, 2280 KiB  
Article
Measuring the Economic Performance of Small Ruminant Farms Using Balanced Scorecard and Importance-Performance Analysis: A European Case Study
by Danilo Gambelli, Francesco Solfanelli, Stefano Orsini and Raffaele Zanoli
Sustainability 2021, 13(6), 3321; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13063321 - 17 Mar 2021
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3459
Abstract
Given the increasing complexity of the agro-food sector, the analysis of financial performance alone may not be sufficient to assess the economic sustainability of farmers. This paper presents a practical method to measure the performance of farm businesses by combining the Balanced Scorecard [...] Read more.
Given the increasing complexity of the agro-food sector, the analysis of financial performance alone may not be sufficient to assess the economic sustainability of farmers. This paper presents a practical method to measure the performance of farm businesses by combining the Balanced Scorecard (BSC) theoretical framework and Importance–Performance Analysis (IPA). The proposed model of Business Performance Indicators (BPI) measurement allows identification and validation of the indicators that consistently measure the latent dimension of the BSC framework while allowing identification Buin of the BPI areas where farm businesses need to concentrate their efforts to assure economic sustainability. The method was applied to small ruminant farm businesses across Europe through visits and interviews. The case study application showed that the model could help measure the performance of small farms while allowing detection of the areas of fragility and intervention. The case study results showed that finance and internal business management were the most relevant farmers’ weaknesses, alongside low priority given to innovation. In conclusion, to prevent the potential long-term decline of the sector, the study provided evidence for policy changes to support the farmers’ innovation potential and a higher level of integration in the supply chain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Agricultural Economy and Marketing Management)
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Review

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11 pages, 835 KiB  
Review
Local Food Campaign in a Globalization Context: A Systematic Review
by Susan (Sixue) Jia
Sustainability 2021, 13(13), 7487; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13137487 - 05 Jul 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 4150
Abstract
As a basic commodity, food has undergone thorough globalization, with the global food market totaling 1392 billion USD in 2019. Despite such a great amount of global food trade, the idea of favouring the consumption of local food, or local food campaigns, has [...] Read more.
As a basic commodity, food has undergone thorough globalization, with the global food market totaling 1392 billion USD in 2019. Despite such a great amount of global food trade, the idea of favouring the consumption of local food, or local food campaigns, has won ever growing attention and advocacy in recent years as an effort to enhance social and environmental sustainability. This systematic review study draws wisdom from the extant literature and provides critical thinking on how local food differs from non-local food and whether the two are more antagonistic or more complementary. Results suggest that although the term “local food” has hardly been clearly defined, it is possible to accommodate different opinions in a set of common constructs in Eriksen’s “three domains of proximity”. Regarding the strengths of local food, researchers agree more on its strong personal connection, distinctive culture, and high quality, but less on its supporting local economy, reduced energy consumption, and environmental friendliness. Meanwhile, local food has its current weaknesses in terms of higher price and unsuccessful information communication; however, these are not without solutions. Overall, while food localization and globalization differ in purpose, they can well co-exist, promote collaboration rather than confrontation, and together accelerate the sustainable growth of the food market. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Agricultural Economy and Marketing Management)
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