65788 - Economy and Development of the Agroalimentary Sector

Course Unit Page


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

Zero hunger Good health and well-being Responsible consumption and production

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

The course aims to provide students with adequate tools to understand and analyze the general principles of the agri-food economy understood, also, as a social science. Deepens the study of the characters of the agri-food system and developmental aspects of food demand and food consumption patterns, in particular, it will provide the student with the tools to analyze the issues related to quality in relation to public and private signs that guarantee and strategies and policies of the company. A particular focus will be devoted to the analysis of the market laws and will be analyzed consumer behavior, cultural changes and food innovation. Finally, special attention will be devoted to understanding the phenomenon of food losses and waste along the agro-food chain by providing the student with a key to economic and not, of the reasons that are the basis of the phenomenon

Course contents

UNIT 1 The agro-food system (4 hours)

- Definition and characteristics of the agri-food system and the principal changes

- The agri-food system and new services for the society

- The food supply chain in the Italian economic system


UNIT 2 Supply and demand of food products (4 hours)

- Characters in the demand for food products

- The concept of demand elasticity

- Related laws to food demand (Engel's law, expenditure's law, substitution's law, energy consumption's law)

- The eating behaviors in the society of satiety

- Characteristics of the supply of food products


UNIT 3 Quality of Agro-Food products(4 hours)

- The quality concept

- How to identify and measure food quality

- The food quality tools


Unit 4 Food and sustainability

- Agriculture and food: sustainability in agricultural and

- Food security, definition of causes and intervention strategies.

- Food waste, definition of causes and intervention strategies.

- Food consumption and lifestyles


UNIT 6 Sustainability (or unsustainability) of the current food production

- Sustainable development

- The environmental sustainability indicators

- The conventional agriculture

- "Other agricultural systems"

- The sustainability of the diet


During the course the professor will make available to students, on the IOL portal, specific educational material (in electronic format) which supplements the notes taken during the lectures.

The bibliography that we recommend is:

- Messori F., Ferretti F., (2010), Economia del mercato agroalimentare, Edagricole, Il sole 24 ore, Milano.

Segrè Andrea, Il gusto per le cose giuste, Mondadori, 2017

Segrè Andrea, Cibo, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2015

Segrè, Andrea; Arminio, Simone, L’oro nel piatto, Torino, Giulio Einaudi editore s.p.a., 2015

Teaching methods

The course is divided into five teaching units. The first two Units are theoretical, consisting of lectures, and the vision of two documentaries. These units offer themselves as preparatory to the next units. The Units from the third to fifth are focused on the economic analysis of food consumptions by focusing on phenomena such as quality and wastage closely related to the new trends in the world of production and consumption of food.

Assessment methods

The Learning assessment will be done through an oral examination (lasting about 20-25 minutes) able to verify the expected learning. In particular, the questions of the oral examination, cover topics developed in the teaching units

Teaching tools

Blakckboard, projector, PC, ppt presentations, internet access, documentaries.

Office hours

See the website of Andrea Segrè