Economics and Organization of Agribusiness


Prof. Stefano Pascucci
University of Exeter, business School

Dr. Liesbeth Dries
Wageningen University, Agricultural Economics and Rural Policy Group

Prof. Gaetano Martino
University of Perugia, Department of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences

Prof. Konstantinos Karantininis
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Economics

Main focus

This track will focus on conceptual and empirical applications on the study of the relation between systemic changes and organization and governance of agri-food value chain systems.  


Recently agri-food supply chain systems have been challenged by several systemic changes such as a rising world population, the intensification of climate change, geo-political and social instabilities, unfair trading practices, issues of market transparency, food security, food scandals and food-related health problems. These systemic changes have exposed agri-food supply chain systems to an unprecedented increase of uncertainty and complexity, as well as to intensification of interconnection and dependency between different actors operating in these systems. Agri-food supply chain systems already provide several examples of diversity of organization and governance adopted by economic actors (e.g. farmers, food companies, retailers and consumers) to cope with increased uncertainty, complexity and dependency. Diversity of responses has been observed in two specific governance dimensions: on the one hand supply chain systems have become more subject to fierce competition, particularly in terms of pricing strategies, access to strategic (natural) resources, compliance with regulations and quality standards. On the other hand, supply chain systems have become more collaborative, using cooperation as a network-based mechanism to cope with squeezed margins, unstable prices and increased risks. This diversity of organizational responses seems to be deeply connected with formal and informal institutional conditions, resulting at least partly from the heterogeneity observed between European urban and rural areas, and the cultural and political differences between European regions. Diversity is also related to differences in environmental and ecological conditions and the dependency of food production and provision to ecosystem functions and the climate. Economics and organization studies scholars have always contributed with theoretical and methodological research to better understand the interconnected challenges of systemic and organizational changes in agri-food supply chain systems1,2,. Moreover the empirical research on the governance of agri-food value chains has both benefited from, and contributed to the empirical literature of economic organizations3.4. In this organized track we invite the participation of scholars interested in the analysis of the organization and governance of agri-food supply chain systems from both a conceptual and methodological perspective.


(1) Grandori, Anna. "Improving organization forms in the agri-food industry." British Food Journal117, no. 10 (2015): 2418-2434.

(2) Ménard, Claude, and Peter G. Klein. "Organizational issues in the agrifood sector: toward a comparative approach." American journal of agricultural economics86, no. 3 (2004): 750-755.

(3) Ménard, Claude. "Organization and governance in the agrifood sector: How can we capture their variety?" Agribusiness34, no. 1 (2018): 142-160.

(4) Pascucci, Stefano, Liesbeth Dries, Konstantinos Karantininis, and Gaetano Martino. "Regulation and organizational change in the governance of agri-food value chains." British Food Journal117, no. 10 (2015).