96571 - Law of Agrofood Economics

Academic Year 2023/2024

  • Moduli: Giulio Sgarbanti (Modulo Mod 1) Emiliano Porri (Modulo Mod 2)
  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures (Modulo Mod 1) Traditional lectures (Modulo Mod 2)
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: First cycle degree programme (L) in Marketing and Economics of the Agro-Industrial System (cod. 5833)

Learning outcomes

The course is aimed at introducing students with the basic legal concepts of Agricultural and Agro-industrial Law, particularly the sources of law, and with the main regulatory schemes, allowing them to develop autonomous learning and updating skills.

Course contents


1. Basic legal concepts (tot: 3 hours)

1.1. Law

1.1.1 Legal order

1.1.2 Legal standard

1.1.3 Law partitions

Skills acquired, unit 1

a) Knowledge of the meaning of fundamental legal terms

b) Learning of basic legal concepts

2. Agriculture and Agricultural Law (tot: 3 hours)

2.1 Notion of “agriculture” and “criterio agrobiologico” (agrobiological criterion)

2.2 Legal notion of agriculture

2.3 Notion of agricultural law

2.3.1 The birth and the autonomy of Agricultural Law

Skills acquired, unit 2

a) Knowledge of the definition of the specific branch of law represented by agricultural law

b) Understanding historical origin of the matter

3. Legal sources of Agricultural Law [domestic law, European Community law (now European Union Law), The World Trade Organization and the Agreement on Agriculture] (tot. 10 hours)

3.1 Sources of law: basic notions

3.2 Structure of the normative provisions

3.3 Practical research techniques of legal sources

3.4 Constitutional sources of Agricultural Law

3.4.1 In general

3.4.2 Artt. 44 e 47 Italian Constitution: purposes and prescribed interventions

3.5 Sources of European Union Law

3.5.1 The (EU's) founding Treaties and its changes

3.5.2 The (EU) Institutions

3.5.3 The (EU) acts

3.5.4 The agriculture in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union: short notes on CAP (Common Agricultural Policy)

3.6 National primary sources

3.6.1 Le “leggi

3.6.2 I “decreti legislativi e i decreti legge

3.6.3 Il “referendum”

3.7 Secondary sources

3.7.1 I “regolamenti

3.8 Regional sources

3.8.1 The allocation of competences between State and Regions related to agriculture and food

3.9 Customs

3.10 Collective bargaining

3.11 Antinomies solution

3.12 Interpretation

Skills acquired, unit 3

a) Knowledge of the system of sources of law

b) Knowledge of the main national and european provisions on agriculture

c) Learning of fundamental notions allowing to depeen and to update legal knowledges within the exercise of the profession

4. The business and the agricultural business (tot: 8 hours)

4.1 The enterpreneur

4.2 The agriculture enterpreneur, the commerciale interpreneur, and the enterpreneur in fishing sector.

4.3 Art. 2135 of Italian civil code (old and new version)

4.4 Special legislation on farm business

4.5 Il “Coltivatore diretto

4.6 L' “Imprenditore agricolo a titolo principale” (IATP); l'“imprenditore agricolo professionale” (IAP)

4.7 The agricultural enterpreneur's legal status

4.8 The business

Skills acquired, unit 4

a) Knowledge of the notion of enterpreneur and of the different types of enterpreneur, with particular attention to the agricultural enterpreneur.

b) Knowledge of the main subjective status in the agricultural sector

c) Knowledge of the main differences between legislations applying to agricultural enterpreneurs and to commercial enterpreneurs

d) Knowledge of the legal notion of business and of the legal rules applying to the farm business

5. Practice exercises and seminars (with specific regard with the relevant scholarly literature and jurisprudence and/or by commenting normative provisions) (tot. unit 16 hours)

5.1 The free circulation of agricultural and food products

5.1.1 The harmonization of legislations

5.1.2 The mutual recognition principle

5.2 Agriculture and nutrition: 4 hours

5.2.1 The general principles of food law

5.2.2 Regulation (EC) n. 178/2002

5.2.3 GMO and novel foods

5.2.4 Food information to consumers

Skills acquired, unit 5

a) Learning of the most relevant institutes and legislations on agricultural and food matters

b) Ability to understand the expansion of agricultural law towards food law



Contracts and firms in the agro-industrial sector

- contract’s general elements and requirements

- following: nullity and invalidity of the contract; dissolution

- agricultural contracts: the evolution of the legislation and the “tipizzazione” process

- associative agricultural contracts and exchange agricultural contracts

- the general legislation of the land lease contract

- agrofood market contracts

- firms in the Italian civil code: different types and main dissimilarities

- agricultural firms

- agricultural cooperatives



L. COSTATO - L. RUSSO, Corso di diritto agrario italiano e dell’Unione europea, Milano, Giuffrè, 6th edition, 2023, limited on course contents (ch. 1; ch. 2, except for par. 2.I.3 and 2.I.4; ch. 4; ch. 8; ch. 9; ch. 10, limited to par. 10.1, 10.3.2, 10.4.1, 10.4.3 and 10.4.4).

For the basic legal notions and the sources of law, the consultation of the following text is reccomended: P. DI MARTINO, A. DI PASCALE, A. SORGATO, D. VITI, Lineamenti dell'ordinamento giuridico internazionale, europeo e nazionale, Milano, Franco Angeli, 2013.

Students attending classes can prepare the final examination on lecture notes, following guidelines provided during the lessons.



P. ZATTI – V. COLUSSI, Lineamenti di diritto private, Padova, Cedam, 14thedition, 2013, limited to the following pages: 383-447; 479-505; 515-526; 773-779; 793-810; 854-866.

L. COSTATO - L. RUSSO, Corso di diritto agrario italiano e dell’Unione europea, Milano, Giuffrè, 4th edition, 2015, limited to paragraphs 9.12 (pp. 374-386), 10.7 and 10.8 (pp. 447-467) and limited to chapter 11 (pp. 469-547).

Teaching methods

Generally lectures are based on the relevant normative provisions and, possibly, on scholarly literature and Court's case-law.

The course is divided in 6 teaching units: the units from 1 to 5 are constituted by frontal lessons on fundamental aspects of the matter; unit 6 consists of specific practice exercises or seminars on specific arguments.

Assessment methods

Final examination is oral (approximately 30-45 minutes) and generally consists in 3 questions/topics on course contents; the student must reply correctly to 2 out of 3 questions at least to pass the exam.

Final examination is based on textbook's contents and, for students attending classes, on lectures' content; anyway, accordingly with personal interests on specific topics, programmes partially different from the official one can be agreed.

The students’ knowledge is assessed through a discussion, to evaluate the actual achievement of the learning outcomes. The exam consists in an interview with the appointed commission on the topics included in the programme.

The assessment will take into account the knowledge of the relevant institutional framework, the ability to analyse doctrinal and jurisprudential opinions and, to single out connections between the relevant topics, to critical reasoning, as well as the clarity of presentation and critical thinking.

By way of example, the following criteria will be used to assign the final mark (that will be out of 30/30):

- knowledge of a very limited number of topics, extensive support by the interviewer to address and answer the questions, basic yet appropriate language  18-19/30;

- knowledge of a limited number of topics, ability to autonomously address basic legal problems, use of appropriate language → 20-24/30;

- comprehensive knowledge of the programme, ability to autonomously and critically analyse legal problems, use of specific terminology → 25-29/30;

- extensive knowledge of the programme, ability to reason autonomously and critically analyse legal problems, make connections between the topics, ability to master the specific terminology and ability to present legal arguments. → 30-30L/30.

Teaching tools

Computer (Internet access), projector, blackboard.

Lectures are generally conducted by projecting the text of legal sources related to the topics analysed.

Office hours

See the website of Giulio Sgarbanti

See the website of Emiliano Porri


Zero hunger

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