95948 - Circular Agri-Food Business Models

Academic Year 2023/2024

  • Moduli: Felice Adinolfi (Modulo 1) Yari Vecchio (Modulo 2)
  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures (Modulo 1) Traditional lectures (Modulo 2)
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Food Animal Metabolism and Management in the Circular Economy (cod. 5814)

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, students know a set of principles that explain, define and articulate the distinctive vision that differentiates the circular approach from the traditional economic and business model. Furthermore, students are able to approach resource management from a circular perspective aimed at maximising resource productivity, minimising environmental impact and keeping materials, components and products in circulation for as long as possible, enhancing their value.

Course contents

The course aims to set a roadmap for the student from the concepts of traditional economics to circular approaches. This objective is achieved by dividing the course into two parts:

1. The first part consists of an introduction to micro and macroeconomic concepts in the agri-food system with particular attention to the livestock system. The specific topics that will be covered are the following:

  • Concepts of Macroeconomics: markets, supply and demand; individual demand and market demand; market elasticity and adjustment;
  • Production, costs, revenues and profits; market forms;
  • Definitions of costs and revenues, break-even analysis, net present value;
  • Cost-benefit analysis;
  • The concept of public good and its implications for the livestock sector;
  • The balance sheet of the livestock enterprise;
  • Financial and business management analysis: financial ratios and quotients;
  • Fundamental elements for the development of a business project: principles for drawing up a business plan.

At the end of the first part, the student:

  • Is familiar with the basic concepts of Macroeconomics;
  • Is familiar with the basic concepts of Microeconomics;
  • Knows the basic concepts of economic analysis;
  • Is familiar with the main organizational models used in the animal production sector;
  • Is able to analyze the impacts of business decisions based on profitability and economic efficiency indices and to make cost-effectiveness judgements that also take into account the ethical and environmental aspects involved;
  • Knows the principles of circular economy applied to the animal production sector and the principles for the evaluation of externalities produced by animal production systems;
  • Is able to communicate the results of analyses to public and private stakeholders;
  • Is familiar with the concepts of agri-food marketing and management strategies both in operational terms and in terms of strategic vision;
  • Is able to use the tools for farm management analysis.

2. In the second part, policy and circular economy concepts are introduced. The specific topics that will be covered are:

At the end of the second part, the student:

  • The New Green Deal and the Common Agricultural Policy;
  • The circular economy: historical background to the circular economy strategy;
  • Has knowledge of European policies and the Common Agricultural Policy;
  • Has knowledge of the basic concepts of circular economy;
  • Knows how the concepts of circular economy can be adapted to the livestock system;
  • Evaluation models: Life Cycle Analysis, Life Cycle Cost, Social Life Cycle Analysis.
  • Can read and interpret models for evaluating farm management in a circular way.

The lessons are accompanied by practical exercises to implement the students' knowledge with realistic aspects.


  1. Challenges and Opportunities of Circular Economy in Agri-food Sector, Rahul S. Mor, Anupama Panghal, Vikas Kumar, 2021, Springer Singapore, ISBN 978-981-16-3790-2
  2. The Circular Economy Handbook: Realizing the Circular Advantage,Peter Lacy, Jessica Long, Wesley Spindler, 2020, Palgrave Macmillan, EAN 9781349959679
  3. Simpson JR (2019) The economics of livestock systems in developing countries: farm and project level analysis. CRC Press
  4. J. Rushton, The Economics of Animal Health and Production, CAB International, Oxfordshire & Massachusetts (2009),
  5. De Rosa, Marcello, Jorgelina Di Pasquale, and Felice Adinolfi. 2021. "The Root towards More Circularized Animal Production Systems: From Animal to Territorial Metabolism" Animals 11, no. 6: 1540. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11061540

Teaching methods

Frontal teaching.

Participatory teaching methods:

1) During the lectures, the students are constantly asked to apply the concepts provided by the Lecturer to practical cases proposed by them or provided by the Lecturer himself.

2) At least once during the course (intermediate or final part), a participative review session is carried out during which the students, guided by the teacher, are asked to recall the topics dealt with, arrange them according to logical criteria, identify the functional links between concepts and analytical schemes.

In the case of remote teaching, this activity can be replaced by intermediate tests based on multiple-choice questions.

Frontal classes are completed by contributions from experts in the field that will explore relevant topics or case studies.

Students with special needs are invited to contact the lecturers of the various modules by email to illustrate and organize teaching and examinations in the best possible way.

Assessment methods

The methods of verification will be agreed with the students themselves during the year. Attendance is not compulsory.

Registration for the exam takes place exclusively through Alma Esami, upon publication of the examination schedule.

In the case of online examinations these will be held via the platforms made available by UNIBO, with convocation directly from the Almaesami registration list and after sending a connection link via email, generated by the system.

The use of teaching aids is not permitted during examinations unless requested in advance for specific reasons.

As a rule, the examination consists of a written and an oral test.

The final exam score is awarded as follows:

- 25% score achieved in a test with closed questions which will take place at the end of the first part of the course;

- 25% score in a test with closed questions at the end of the second part of the course;

- 50% oral assessment on the theoretical topics covered during the course.

The written tests will last 60 minutes


Closed questions score: minimum 24/40

  • score 24: grade 18;
  • score 25: grade 19;
  • score 26: grade 20;
  • score 27: grade 21;
  • score 28: grade 22;
  • score 29: grade 23;
  • score 30: grade 24;
  • score 31: grade 25;
  • score 32: grade 26;
  • score 33-34: grade 27;
  • score 35-36: grade 28;
  • score 37-38: grade 29;
  • score 39-40: mark 30.

Error or non-response does not give rise to a penalty.


  • Preparation on a very limited number of topics dealt with in the course and ability to analyze which emerges only with the help of the teacher, expressed in generally correct language (18-19);
  • Preparation on a limited number of topics covered in the course and ability to analyze autonomously only on purely executive issues, expressed in the correct language (20-24);
  • Preparation on a large number of topics covered in the course, ability to make autonomous choices of critical analysis, mastery of specific terminology (25-29);
  • Substantially comprehensive preparation on the topics covered, ability to make autonomous choices of critical analysis and linking, full utilization of specific terminology and ability to argue and self-reflect (30-30L).

The student has the right to refuse the positive grade proposed once (University teaching regulations ART. 16, paragraph 5)”


Particular attention will be given to the evaluation of students certified in accordance with Law 104/90 and Law 170/2010, or students who are recognized as having a special educational need. These students should contact the teacher by email, (cc the personnel form central offices for students with disability or with University SLD (https://site.unibo.it/studenti-con-disabilita-e-dsa/it ). The person in charge of this service in our Department is Dr. Fabiana Trombetti.

Teaching tools

  • Slideshow;
  • Exercises and tests on dedicated platforms and Excel;
  • The course slides are accessible on the VIRTUAL system. Students are invited to contact the lecturer by email to report any problems with access, organization or the content of the published materials;
  • The reception is normally held on Friday mornings. To arrange an appointment, please contact the Lecturer directly by email.

Office hours

See the website of Felice Adinolfi

See the website of Yari Vecchio


Decent work and economic growth Industry, innovation and infrastructure Responsible consumption and production Climate Action

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