Centro Ricerche Produzioni Animali
Centro Ricerche Produzioni Animali
de Roest K.,Centro Ricerche Produzioni Animali |
Ferrari P.,Centro Ricerche Produzioni Animali |
Knickel K.,University of Évora |
Knickel K.,Rural University
Journal of Rural Studies | Year: 2017
For decades agricultural development has been led by a modernisation paradigm based on specialisation, intensification and scale enlargement. This model of development model has been supported by means of price support policies and, often, strong central marketing agencies, which had a stabilising effect on prices and significantly reduced market risks for an array of commodities. The economic rationale of this model is based on the pursuit of economies of scale and highly efficient technical production. This model has led farmers to increasing their technical capacity and to neglect activities such as marketing, which was delegated to specialised marketing agencies.In this paper we argue that such specialisation has weakened the economic resilience of farms. Although a high level of specialisation allows farmers to be technically efficient, acquire highly specific production skills and apply the latest production techniques, it also leads specialised farms to be highly dependent on the commodity market(s) in which they operate, increasing their economic vulnerability. As markets have become deregulated, prices of both inputs and produce have become more volatile, often compromising the economic sustainability of these specialised farms.The weakened economic resilience of such farms has been aggravated by the gradual dismantling of producer price support causing an increase in price volatility, which has become a near-universal phenomenon for almost all agricultural produce. Highly specialised farming is now only viable where markets are stable and this requires the existence of effective market agencies and strong inter-branch organisations and/or the prevalence of contract farming.The increasing market orientation of the CAP, the fragmentation and weakening of marketing agencies and - last but not least- the growing societal demand for a more sustainable agriculture have led many farmers to rethink their farm development strategies. They are rediscovering farm diversification as one way of reducing market risks, as well improving the efficiency of the farm's organisation and resource use.Economies of scope emerge when a farmer can use the same input(s) to produce two or more products, and lower the cost of producing them separately. To achieve this end the inputs have to be complementary. By developing cost complementarities between different crops or livestock species, diversified farms can become more efficient than specialised farms.Another way that diversified farms can increase their economic sustainability is to partially produce for niche markets thereby generating a higher added value. A product mix of high quality products, possibly from the same production sector, but aimed at different, specific, market segments can further contribute to increasing the overall profitability of diversified farms.This paper summarises a series of case studies from EU member states and Israel which illustrate how farmers are experimenting with alternative pathways of development based on diversification. It is also shows the challenges they face. These include learning the skills for marketing high value-added farm products, establishing short food chains and the rebuilding supportive social and economic networks. The latter is particularly important when farms are too small to diversify effectively individually. Farms that participate in these economic networks are more able to internalise external economies generated within these networks and develop their knowledge of marketing and production through close cooperation with other farms. In some of the case studies the success of diversification clearly depended on the ability of farms to collaborate and share knowledge especially when new technical capacities for say, introducing crop diversification or intercropping, needed to be acquired. The knowledge involved in developing new crop rotation patterns, knowing about crop associations and combinations of crop and livestock activities was either developed ex novo or by rediscovering traditional knowledge. At the same time training in marketing food products is also a key to successfully shifting from being a specialised farm to a diversified one.Farmers need encouragement in order to work together and share their knowledge and experiences of diversification strategies. To this end policies that support collaborative networks are needed. Policies are also required to help establish and sustain collective marketing initiatives, especially short and direct supply chains. Finally, public support to assure against market risks is very helpful when farmers are entering into new markets. These policies are essential to support the existing processes of change that are occurring at grassroots level which are leading to a new model of farm modernisation.The specific contribution that this paper makes to the rural social science literature is to empirically highlight the limitations of theories about the benefits of economies of scale. © 2017.
Messori S.,Instituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale Dellabruzzo E Del Molise G Caporale |
Visser E.K.,Wageningen University |
Buonanno M.,Instituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale Dellabruzzo E Del Molise G Caporale |
Ferrari P.,Centro Ricerche Produzioni Animali |
And 3 more authors.
Animal Welfare | Year: 2016
This study aimed to develop a scientific and practical tool to be used to assess horse welfare after commercial transport over long journeys. A set of physical, behavioural and environmental measures was selected, covering welfare aspects of both transport and unloading procedures. The protocol was field-tested on 51 intra-EU commercial transports arriving at different sites in Italy. Univariate analysis was implemented to look for associations between the input variables (environmental hazards potentially affecting the animal well-being during long transports) and the outcome variables (direct evaluation of the animal condition). No severe welfare impairments were recorded (ie dead on arrival, severe injuries, non-ambulatory animals), while milder ones were more frequent at unloading (eg slipping; 36.7%, reluctance to move; 9.6%). Correlations emerged between ramp slope and falling; type of ramp floor and slipping; fast gait and the presence of gaps between the ramp and the floor. The horses' behaviour was also related to the type of handling procedure used. The measures were repeatable and practical to apply and score during real-time unloading. This work provides a sound basis for a new and practical welfare assessment tool for horses travelling over long journeys. Careful and constant application of this protocol would provide stakeholders with the opportunity to track and monitor changes in the industry over time as well as to identify high risk areas in transport routines. © 2016 Universities Federation for Animal Welfare The Old School, Brewhouse Hill, Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire AL4 8AN, UK.
Kallas Z.,Polytechnic University of Catalonia |
Gil J.M.,Polytechnic University of Catalonia |
Panella-Riera N.,IRTA Monells |
Blanch M.,IRTA Monells |
And 5 more authors.
Meat Science | Year: 2013
Our research explored the relative importance of pig castration amongst other aspects of animal welfare, and the potential impact of information and sensory experiences on European Union (EU) consumers' preferences. The EU is considering a future ban on surgical pig castration by 2018 which may affect markets and consumers' preferences. We carried out an empirical study using consumer-level data obtained from questionnaires completed in a controlled environment by a total of 825 consumers. The experiment was carried out in six EU countries (Spain, United Kingdom, The Netherlands, France, Italy and Germany) which account for 66.0% of the EU-27's and 76.3% of the EU-15's meat production. Results show that consumers do not perceive pig castration to be a relevant aspect of animal welfare nor its relationship with meat quality. Consumers with healthy life styles, concerned about animal welfare and who have had a negative sensory experience with boar meat are willing to accept paying more to avoid boar taint. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
Rossi V.,Catholic University of the Sacred Heart |
Rossi V.,Horta Srl |
Salinari F.,Horta Srl |
Poni S.,Catholic University of the Sacred Heart |
And 2 more authors.
Computers and Electronics in Agriculture | Year: 2014
Although many Decision Support Systems (DSSs) have been developed for crop management, DSSs have contributed little to practical agriculture because of the so-called 'problem of implementation'; under-utilisation has been ascribed to both technical limitations of the DSSs and to farmer attitude towards DSSs. A new DSS, named vite.net®, was developed for sustainable management of vineyards and is intended for the vineyard manager (the person who makes decisions about the vineyard management or suggests the proper actions to the grape-grower). The DSS has two main parts: (i) an integrated system for real-time monitoring of the vineyard components (air, soil, plants, pests, and diseases) and (ii) a web-based tool that analyses these data by using advanced modelling techniques and then provides up-to-date information for managing the vineyard in the form of alerts and decision supports. The information is tailored to a vineyard, or part of a vineyard, or a number of vineyards that are uniformly managed throughout the season. In the design and development of vite.net®, the implementation problem was specifically addressed by: (i) focusing on the important vineyard problems with a holistic approach (the DSS incorporates overall management solutions for growers); (ii) using automation and integration in data collection, and supporting flexible input efforts by the user; (iii) developing and validating fit-to-purpose, mechanistic, dynamic models; (iv) designing a user-friendly interface and providing complete and easy-to-understand information; (v) delivering the DSS through the Web and thereby enabling both continuous updating by the provider and flexible access by the user; (vi) designing the DSS with the goal of assisting the decision maker (by providing necessary information) rather than replacing the decision maker; (vii) involving potential users during vite.net® development and testing so as to obtain insight into how users make decisions; (viii) communicating the benefits of the DSS via seminars and visits to demonstration vineyards; (ix) involving chemical companies and other potential stakeholders; and (x) developing a two-way communication mode with the end-users, i.e., by combining "push" and "pull" systems. Feedback collected during development, testing, and practical use of vite.net® suggested that potential users were likely to use the DSS and that the 'implementation problem' had been successfully addressed. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.
Salinari F.,Horta Srl |
Mariani L.,Horta Srl |
Diago M.P.,University of La Rioja |
Tardaguila J.,University of La Rioja |
And 4 more authors.
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2014
The European project MoDeM-IVM (A web-based system for real-time Monitoring and Decision Making for Integrated Vineyard Management aims to develop an interactive, web-based Decision Support System (DSS) for integrated management of the vineyard The project will produce a prototype of a DSS with the following functionalities: decision support for canopy management, disease and pest control, and alert systems on potential abiotic stresses, such as low temperature injuries and water stress, as well as attainable yield. The DSS is targeted at the vineyard manager, i.e., the person who makes decisions about the vineyard management or suggests the proper actions to the grower. The decision supports and alerts provided by the system are: i) formulated on the basis of mathematical models outputs; ii) based on the best options for managing the vineyard according to the Integrated Production. The models working within the DSS receive weather and soil data in real-time by a Wireless Sensor Network installed in the vineyard. Further information on the vineyard components can be collected by means of hand held devices. In respect to water stress, a model for its early detection as a function of soil water content was developed.
Migliore L.,University of Rome Tor Vergata |
Godeas F.,University of Rome Tor Vergata |
De Filippis S.P.,Instituto Superiore Of Sanita |
Mantovi P.,Centro Ricerche Produzioni Animali |
And 4 more authors.
Environmental Pollution | Year: 2010
Animal wastes from intensive pig farming as fertilizers may expose crops to antimicrobials. Zea mays cultivations were carried out on a virgin field, subjected to dressing with pig slurries contaminated at 15 mg L-1 of Oxy- and 5 mg L-1 of Chlor-tetracycline, and at 8 mg L-1 of Oxy and 3 mg L-1 of Chlor, respectively. Pot cultivation was performed outdoor (Oxy in the range 62.5-1000 ng g-1 dry soil) and plants harvested after 45 days. Tetracyclines analyses on soils and on field plants (roots, stalks, and leaves) did not determine the appreciable presence of tetracyclines. Residues were found in the 45-day pot corn only, in the range of 1-50 ng g-1 for Oxy in roots, accounting for a 5% carry-over rate, on average. Although no detectable residues in plants from on land cultivations, both experimental batches showed the same biphasic growth form corresponding to a dose/response hormetic curve. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Malacarne M.,University of Parma |
Summer A.,University of Parma |
Franceschi P.,University of Parma |
Formaggioni P.,University of Parma |
And 7 more authors.
International Dairy Journal | Year: 2013
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of different storage conditions (12, 24, 36 and 48 h at 4-6 °C and 8-10 °C and 12 and 24 h at 13-15 °C) on chemical and physico-chemical characteristics, microbial growth and processing properties of raw bulk milk. Regardless of the temperature, cold storage of milk increased the content both of calcium and phosphorus in the resulting rennet-induced curd. Storage of milk at 4-6 or 8-10 °C resulted in a significant impairment of the rennet coagulation properties after 12 h of storage, particularly at 4-6 °C. A significant decrease in the creaming capacity of milk was observed in all storage conditions, particularly for milk stored at 13-15 °C. On the basis of these observations, storage on farms at a temperature of 8-10 °C, for a period not longer than 24 h, is recommended. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
Oostindie H.,Wageningen University |
Van Broekhuizen R.,Wageningen University |
De Roest K.,Centro Ricerche Produzioni Animali |
Belletti G.,University of Florence |
And 3 more authors.
Sustainability (Switzerland) | Year: 2016
Priority setting between local versus global food chains continues to be subject of debate among food, rural and agricultural scholars with an interest in how to support more sustainable food provision and consumption patterns. Recently the FP7 European GLAMUR project targeted to assess and compare the performances of local versus global food chains in a systematic way covering multiple performance dimensions. Especially drawing on empirical research on the performances of three Italian and three Dutch pork chains, it will be argued that meaningful performance comparison needs to acknowledge the complex, multi-facetted and time and place specific interaction patterns between (more) global and (more) local pork chains. Therefore, as regards these pork chains, local-global performance comparison is thought to have hardly significance in isolation from complementary "horizontal" (place-based) and "circular" (waste or by-product valorization oriented) assessments. As will be concluded, this methodological complexity of food chain performance comparison doesn't allow for simple statements regarding the pros and cons of (more) global versus (more) local pork chains. Hence, it is recommended to avoid such less fruitful local-global dichotomy and to concentrate on more policy relevant questions as: how to facilitate fundamentally different resource-use-efficiency strategies and how to optimize the place-specific interaction between more "local" versus more "global" food systems? © 2016 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.