The Role of Innovation in the Integration Processes of Integrated Projects of Food Chain: The Case of the Cherry Cultivation Chain in Apulia Region

Francesco Contò, Mariantonietta Fiore, Piermichele La Sala


Innovation is one of the key strategies proposed in the literature and economic policies as a crucial driver of the agro-food sector. Innovation, especially in the agricultural sector, is not manifested only as an adoption of new technologies, but also requires a balance between new practices, techniques and alternative ways to organize and manage markets, labour, land tenure and distribution of benefits. In this context, the Economic Conventions (EC) have found fertile ground for coordination in the agro-food sector. Starting from a recent work by Malafaia et al. (2010) on the EC and the mechanisms of coordination, the paper analyzes the Integrated Projects of Food Chain (IPFs) approved by the Apulia region. The data collection was carried out through interviews and meetings with various actors in the supply chain and via Territory Listening Plane analysis, in order to identify the types of formalized or non formalized coordination, practiced by the agents. Further challenges are the definition and the identification of the forms of coordination set up by agents of the supply chains of IPFs via the implementation of the economic/computer/management model, which leads to the development of new business processes and to the validation of a prototype model of knowledge transfer and check-ups. In the end of the paper, conclusions are drawn.


regulation; innovation; Economic Conventions (EC); agro-food chain; trust

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"Intellectual Economics" ISSN online 1822-8038 / ISSN print 1822-8011