Research project
36 | monthsFAI_MAR

Towards fair and efficient food markets

Related toSpoke 01

Principal investigators
Stefano Corsi

Other partecipantsChiara Mazzocchi, Federico Caniato, Giulia Bartezzaghi, Stefano Quaglia
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Task involved

Task 1.2.2.

Towards fair and efficient food markets: implementation of methodologies to define economic efficiency through innovative retailers and fair price management within the value chains.

Project deliverables


Definition of innovative model for hybrid distribution of local food and network agreements (M24)


Report on new forms of entrepreneurship and female entrepreneurship in short supply chains and alternative food networks (M36).

Interaction with other spokes

State of the art

Food chains are characterized by power relationships and different forms of dependence that often affect the weakest actors including smallholders in developed and developing countries. The opportunity for farmers to allocate their production in local markets thanks to innovative model of hybrid distribution of and network agreements can contribute to enhance the economic sustainability, by reducing intermediation, and social sustainability, by developing direct relationships between consumers and producers.
Furthermore, new forms of entrepreneurship, which involves young and female entrepreneurs, can promote social innovation in short supply chains and alternative food networks. An in-depth analysis of the power relationships in selected food chains comparing structured long and short, global and local chains will provide a clear knowledge of the nodes and the bottlenecks in the supply chains and boost the innovative inclusive business models.

Operation plan

The objective of the project is analyzing selected long and short food chains to measure the power relationships and promote innovative and inclusive models of entrepreneurships and network agreements. The steps of the research are:

  • Identification of the selected long and short food chains.
  • Analysis of power relationships by means of qualitative and quantitative methods based on semi structured interviews.
  • Definition of innovative and inclusive models of entrepreneurships and network agreements, by means of participative approaches.
  • Analysis of the acceptance and adoption of innovative solutions among women and young entrepreneurs in short food chains based on the Innovation Diffusion Theory in combination with the Theory of Reasoned Action.

Expected results

First, the study of the food chains will provide knowledge on the structure and relationships in the food chains. This result is important to develop sustainable models that can be applied in real world conditions. Second, the innovative and inclusive business models and network agreement will be successful only if the actors are involved in the design process. That is why a participative approach to develop them is crucial. Finally, the effectiveness and width of the innovation depend on the ability and willingness of actors in the short food chains to accept and adopt the innovations. For this reason, a strategy to adapt and communicate the innovations will be developed.