The Value of Food:
internationalization, competition and local development in agro-food systems

Rural landscape

Agro-food systems are at the center of relevant changes with important economic, social and environmental implications. This is part of an adjustment process which is involving the agriculture sector: the dynamics of agricultural markets in the last decade have been characterized by an increasing global instability which has led to greater international competition, higher volatility of international commodity markets and raised concentration at retailer’s level, with an increased asymmetry in market power distribution and conflicts among stakeholders.

These dynamics have recently been intensified due to various factors such as climatic change, economic crisis, fluctuations in energy markets and world trade relations that have worsened the macroeconomics framework. At the same time, demand for food and agricultural products has substantially changed, becoming more complex and resulting from “aware and conscientious” consumption patterns that add value to characteristics such as food quality and safety, place of origin, respect for the environment and ethical and social standards, food waste reduction.

Changes have occurred to agricultural policies as well. With reference to EU, attention has to be paid to the reform process which has involved the Common Agricultural Political (CAP) and has promoted the progressive dismantling of price support system in favor of more market-oriented agricultural production (decoupling). The 2013 Reform has completed such process with a definitive switch to a full decoupled support. Core instruments of the new CAP, namely supply concentration and organization (e.g. Producers’ Organizations, interprofessional agreements, and contractualization), are aimed at supporting and stabilizing farm-incomes, in compliance with tighter competition rules.

Such changes in agricultural markets and policies can directly influence the functioning mechanisms of the agro-food systems, the relations among stakeholders in the agro-food supply chains and their development strategies, e.g. food quality improvement, product differentiation, vertical coordination among the value-chain and supply control, enforcement of competition rules.

The 52nd SIDEA Annual Conference in (Rome-Viterbo) will offer the opportunity for a scientific debate on the key driving forces on the evolution of food supply-chains and their functioning mechanisms. The objective of the Conference is to discuss scientific communications of agricultural economists on the emerging organizational models in the global agro-food systems.

The Conference is structured around two plenary sessions and three parallel sessions. This year, and for the first time, the first Conference plenary session will be jointly organized with FAO and will be held at FAO Headquarters in Rome. The session, entitled “Strategies and actors of global agricultural and food policies”, will have a strong orientation towards international and institutional themes. It will be characterized by distinguished speeches and will be aimed at promoting the dialogue between scholars, policy makers and international organizations with the objective to build innovative models for the governance of global agro-food systems.

The parallel sessions will focus on the following themes and topics:

1. Supply concentration and vertical integration in food supply chain: tools and policies
• Cooperation dynamics;
• Role of Producers Organizations in different agro-food supply chains;
• Stakeholders’ role in the development of agro-food supply chains;
• Role of inter-professional organizations in market regulation;
• Contractual relations in agro-food supply chains.

2. Trade regulation and international market organization
• Prospects and governance of agro-food markets in the global scenario;
• Food security and market internationalization;
• Instability and price volatility in international markets;
• International trade and TTIP negotiation in the agro-food system;
• Quality of agriculture products in international trade;

3. Prices, competition and market power in the agro-food system
• Competition rules, supply concentration and inter-professional agreements;
• Market power distribution among industry, retailers and countervailing actors;
• Price transmission mechanisms along agro-food supply chains;
• Multinationals and firm strategies among food processors and retailers;
• Methods and models for detecting market power along food supply chains.

4. Quality, environment and local development
• New forms of marketing and local markets;
• Value creation and sharing in local food chains;
• Rules of origin and local development;
• Climate change and sustainable management of natural resources;
• Agroforestry systems and ecosystem services.

5. Policies for agricultural markets
• New tools for markets organization in the CAP 2014-2020;
• Organization and integration instruments for food supply chains in national and regional policies;
• Evaluation and effects of policies for market regulation;
• Relation between policies for market competition and CAP;
• Role of rural development policies in market regulation.

6. Consumption and nutrition dynamics
• New patterns of food consumption;
• Food safety and quality in consumers’ perception;
• Nutritional patterns and food security;
• Efficiency of distribution and food waste;
• Consumers in the new model of food distribution;
• Ethical and social responsibility in food production, distribution and consumption.

52nd SIDEA Conference welcomes the submission of scientific communications on the indicative and non-exhaustive topics above listed.



Participants willing to submit a contribution to parallel sessions are requested to send an extended abstract (min 2 pages/1000 words) in English by April 19th, 2015 emailing it to The extended abstract should include objectives, methodology, results and references (references will not be included in the word count). Title, author(s) and corresponding author should be included as well. Clusters of Abstracts promoting an Organized Session are also welcome. All submitted abstracts will be subject to evaluation by the Conference Scientific Committee. Authors will receive notification of acceptance by May 8th, 2015.

Publication of Contribution

1. A short paper of the accepted abstracts (max 8 pages/4.000 words), to be written in English, should be submitted by July 15th and will be subject to a peer-review process for publication in Conference Proceedings and included in bibliographic databases (Web of Science and/or Scopus).

2. A selection of short papers will be submitted for publication in Special Issues of SIDEA’s Journals.

Scientific Committee

Alessandro Sorrentino (President)
Valeria Borsellino
Concetta Nazzaro (Secretary)
Gaetana Petriccione
Davide Pettenella
Pietro Pulina

Organising Committee

Simone Severini (Chair), DAFNE-Unitus
Giacomo Branca, DEIM-Unitus
Francesco Carbone, DIBAF-Unitus
Clara Cicatiello, DEIM-Unitus
Gabriele Dono, DAFNE-Unitus
Barbara Pancino, DEIM-Unitus
Carlo Russo, Università di Cassino
Saverio Senni, DAFNE-Unitus
Alessandro Sorrentino, DEIM-Unitus