Competitiveness of the Agro-Food Sector

Analysis of the competitiveness of agro-food industries is not only important, but also mandatory, because competition leads to lower prices, high-quality product formation, sustainable innovation, and consumer satisfaction. This research area concentrates on the analysis of the competitiveness of agro-food chains, at all nodes from producers to consumers, by focusing on both food demand and production. The analyses adopt a clear multidisciplinary approach combining technical, economical, psychological, and behavioral knowledge.

Several quantitative and qualitative methods are used to analyze stakeholder preferences and attitudes, such as contingent valuation and choice experiments, both in hypothetical and non-hypothetical contexts. Hedonic sensory evaluation is also applied to associate acceptance and preference results. In particular, methods such as focus groups, word association, the analytical hierarchy process, and lottery-based risk analysis techniques are used.

Several data sources are analyzed using cross-section, panel, home, and retailer scan data. The design and implementation of specific and general questionnaires are central parts of the analysis process. Valid and reliable psychometric scales are frequently employed to measure stakeholder attitudes towards innovation, new food production technology, and ethical issues such as animal welfare and environmental beliefs.

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