Last week I participated, and contributed as Local Organized Committee staff, at the XV European Association of Agricultural Economists (EAAE) Congress in Parma.The event resulted in a great success in terms of participation and involvement.
Here are some final figures:
Total participants: 956
Contributed papers: 302
Organized sessions: 46
Organized panels: 15
Pre-congress symposia: 15
Case-study competition – students teams: 11
I was the chairman at poster session “Measuring Farmers and Consumers Attitude” where I also had the chance to present my MSCA project on “CONSUMEHealth”: using consumer science to improve healthy eating habits. This project is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship and it will be carried out at the Cornell University for a 24-month period and 12-month return period at the Department of Food and Drug of the University of Parma.
The poster presentation had the aim to promote a critical debate among the other researcher, mainly agricultural and applied economists, about the role of using different fields of consumer science to understand and shape healthy everyday food choices.
I also had the opportunity to participate in the contributed session on “Consumer trends and consumption effects of seafood products: matching science, business, and decision-making. An outlook of the PrimeFish project”. In this session, some key findings of the PrimeFish project have been presented.
This project aims to improve the economic sustainability of the European fisheries and aquaculture sectors from the perspective of the sectorial participation. Specifically, the research of PrimeFish is focusing on the competitiveness and economic performance of companies including price development, supply chain relations, and successful product innovation. In addition, the consumer behavior and market trends are also included by identifying recent trends, motivations, and patterns of seafood consumption.
During this session, my colleague Prof. Davide Menozzi of the University of Parma presented our study on Consumers preferences regarding seafood: a cross-national comparison. In this study we applied a labelled choice experiment (LCE) to investigate consumer demand and choice behavior for fresh fish in a retail market hypothetical situation in five European countries: Italy, France, Spain, UK, and Germany.
Preliminary results show how sustainable label importance varied among species (higher for herring, salmon, and seabream) and countries (higher in Germany). The nutritional and health claim preferences also varied among species (higher for salmon and seabream) and countries (higher in Spain, Germany and Italy).
Finally, among the keynote speakers who attended the congress, I had the pleasure to listen to Lynn J. Frewer, Professor of Food & Society, School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development of New Castle University. Her speech was about consumer acceptance and rejection of emerging agrifood technologies and their applications. She explained how food insecurity represents a major global challenge and the development and application of agrifood technologies as routes to ‘sustainable intensification’ of agrifood production may improve local and national food security. However, consumer non-acceptance of enabling agrifood technologies, and their products, can be an important barrier to their commercialisation.