Agribusiness (2018/2019)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Diego Begalli
Diego Begalli
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
I semestre dal Oct 1, 2018 al Jan 31, 2019.

Lesson timetable

Go to lesson schedule

Learning outcomes

The course is aimed to make the students of the M.Sc. in Agri-Food Biotechnology able to acquire the basic knowledge of the economy of the agri-food system. Starting from the concepts of agri-food system and supply chain, the course aims to teach students the methods of the structural and organ-izational analysis of the agri-food system. Particular attention is dedicated to the analysis of the char-acteristics and strategies of the Italian agri-food system as well as to the mechanisms of vertical co-ordination of the food supply chain. A special focus is dedicated to the organization of the cooperative system and the local districts of typical products.


Introduction to agribusiness.
The agro-food system and its components.
The food supply chain. Definition. Methodological approaches. Distribution chains. Case studies.
Food consumption. The consumer decision process. The variables that influence the intention to buy. Consumption patterns.
Modern distribution. Distribution formulas. Organizational structure. Strategies. Private labels. Relations between distribution and food industry. Relations between distribution and agriculture.
The food industry. Development strategies. Strategic positioning of the major competitive players.
Coordination mechanisms in the food system. Market coordination: final markets, direct marketing, electronic markets. Vertical integration. Forms of integration: merge and aquisition, contract, cooperative. Individual contracts. Collective contracts.
Local systems and typical products. The information asymmetry. The marks of origin. Economic and social importance of typical products. Case studies.
The cooperative integration. The cooperative firm. Types of cooperatives. The cooperative bodies and their roles. The cooperative organization. Case studies.

Teaching methods
Teaching methods consist of lectures focused on the basic concepts and methodologies; exercises essentially dedicated to the discussion of cases are added.
A textbook is integrated with in-depth readings that are offered during the course.
Textbook, integrative reading and exercises are closely related to the program.
All materials are available, also for non-attending students, on the e-learning platform.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
V. Sodano, M. Sassi, A. Marchini, Economia Agroalimentare: Mercati e Politiche Mcgraw-Hill, Milano 2010

Assessment methods and criteria

Single oral examination.
It aims to verify the acquired knowledge and the capability to link them.
The oral examination involves.
The final evaluation is expressed on 30.