29548 - Food System Economics

Academic Year 2021/2022

  • Docente: Luca Camanzi
  • Credits: 6
  • SSD: AGR/01
  • Language: Italian
  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Cesena
  • Corso: Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Food Science and Technology (cod. 8531)

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, students will have a theoretical and empirical knowledge of the structure, internal relations and dynamics of the agro-food system.
Students will also be acquainted with the main sources of information and research tools to assess the performance of the agri-food system.

Course contents


Basic knowledge of agro-food sector economics,
principles of mathematical analysis,
fair understanding of English texts.



The program course consists of 4 sections:

1. INTRODUCTION: object and method of economics applied to the agri-food system. economics as a science; scarcity and efficiency; approaches to the study of the agri-food system.

2. ACTORS in the agri-food system and their behavior under a microeconomic perspective.
2.1 Demand theory;
2.2 Supply theory;
2.3 Market structures and price formation process;
2.4 Prices in the agri-food system.

3. RELATIONSHIPS among actors in the agri-food system under an evolutionary perspective.
3.1 From the market of agricultural and foos products to the agri-food system;
3.2 The relationships between agriculture, industry and distribution
3.3 Coordination and vertical integration in the agri-food system.

4. THE AGRI-FOOD SYSTEM: functions and coordination under a macro-economic perspective.
4.1 Social functions of the agri-food system;
4.2 The role of the agri-food system in the economic system; 2.3 International trade, institutions and policies in the agri-food system.


An e-learning platform is available containing the teaching material. The platform can be accessed from the "teaching" section of teacher's home. Student will be asked to sign up to the platform by inserting their own university credentials and a password which will be communicated by the teacher.

The platform's contents are continuously updated and the changes are promptly reported in the "Forum News" section.

Should you need any further references, you can check out the following  texts, that are available at the Food Science Campus Library:

  • Economia del mercato agro-alimentare
    Flavio Messori, Fabrizio Ferretti.
    2. ed. Milano Edagricole, 2010. ISBN 978-88-506-5329-4.
  • Economia.
    Paul A. Samuelson, William D. Nordhaus
    McGraw-Hill libri Italia, 1996
  • L'essenziale di economia
    N. Gregory Mankiw, Mark P. Taylor.
    5. ed. italiana Zanichelli, 2012
Further supplementary readings (scientific research papers and specialized press articles) and exercises will be recommended and made available online by the teacher.

Teaching methods

The two modules of “Sistema alimentare” (29548) and “Marketing dei prodotti alimentari” (18452) are part of the integrated course “Marketing per il sistema alimentare” (29547). The two modules are both offered in the first semester of the academic year and will be developed in a coordinat ed manner by the two teachers.

The lectures of “Sistema alimentare” (29548) will be complemented by in class exercises and by a practical overview of the main web resources of interest for the assessment of the agri-food sector (in the computer lab).

Seminars held by sector experts and visits to agri-food firms will also be organized, possibly in coordination with the teacher of the course “Marketing dei prodotti alimentari” (18452) .

Assessment methods

The final vote for the integrated course “Marketing per il sistema alimentare” (29547) is based on the votes obtained in the modules “Marketing dei prodotti alimentari (18452) and “Sistema alimentare” (29548) and it is given collegially by the commission including the teachers of the two modules.

The exam of the course "Sistema alimentare" (29548) consists of both:

  1. a written essay on a topic to be agreed with the teacher, developed according to the procedures published in the e-learning platform (see section "Istruzioni elaborato scritto"), and
  2. an oral exam, which includes the discussion of written and two questions on the course program.

The assessment of each activity will contribute to the vote of the partial test (out of thirty) as follows:

  • 30% written essay
  • 20% discussion of written essay during the oral examination
  • 25% oral exam - question 1
  • 25% oral exam - question 2

In the oral examination, the Commission can draw on further questions to specify aspects of the two main questions.

In the evaluation of the candidate, the commission will pay particular attention to his/her ability of link concepts, critical analysis of the phenomena taking place in the agro-food system and the use of proper language terms.

Students eligible may contact the teacher to possibly agree a date for examination other than the official ones.

Teaching tools

Computer, projector, internet connection, dashboard and board markers, computer lab for exercises and practice.

Office hours

See the website of Luca Camanzi


Decent work and economic growth Sustainable cities Responsible consumption and production

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.