Marco Platania1

1 University of Catania (IT) – University of Winchester (UK), marco.platania@unict.it

Abstract: Organic agriculture is a model of agricultural production that supports and promotes the well-being of the soil, the ecosystem and people. It is oriented towards the principles of use of the internal resources of the natural system through the reduction of the impacts on health and environment. In recent years the consumption of organic products has increased, also driven by the increased demand for sustainable and healthy products. European market trends are highly debated because, although they represent a small percentage of total agricultural production, they are rather prominent in public discussions. The aim of this chapter is to describe the current state of organic production in the European Union, highlighting its contribution to world production and also showing the current characteristics and dimensions of this sector. The current state of distribution will also be investigated, in addition to production data, which are very important to understand the possible growth margins of the market at a European level. Keywords: organic agriculture; European Union; market characteristics.

Nicu Marcu1 , Georgiana-Raluca Lădaru2 , Maria Claudia Diaconeasa3

1 The Bucharest University of Economic Studies, nicu.marcu@eam.ase.ro; 2 The Bucharest University of Economic Studies, raluca.ladaru@eam.ase.ro; 3 The Bucharest University of Economic Studies, maria.diaconeasa@eam.ase.ro 

Abstract: Due to the human health concerns regarding soil, water and air pollution, the organic food are gaining more popularity among consumers, determining an increase in demand. The possibilities of offering this type of food to a large segment of the consumers should be considered an important opportunity by the producers. How fast the producers prepare themselves to answer to the consumers’ demand of organic products differs due to national regulations and consumers’ purchasing power. Yet, the market of organic food products is at the beginning of its time, as the food and health research, together with policy makers and the media (classic and social), constantly influence and shapes the consumers’ demand for this type of products. The following chapter presents a brief analysis of the current status of the organic food market in Romania compared to the European Union (EU) by considering the main aspects, challenges and opportunities in the future of this market from the perspective of the Romanian youth.

Carmen-Elena Dobrotă

 University of Bucharest, carmen.dobrota@faa.unibuc.ro

Abstract: Organic production at EU level is influenced by the consumer interests protection, ensuring an unbiased rivalry between producers and facilitating the free circulation of organic produce in the EU. The consumer of organic produce must have the guarantee of a control system at each stage of the supply chain, regardless of whether the goods are made in the EU or they are made outside the EU. The chapter aims to analyse the control structure that legislates the production, processing, dispersion and imports of organic products at the level of EU member countries. Starting from the fact that there is no systematic approach to determine if a produce is environmentally friendly, maintaining and legitimizing buyers’ assurance in goods marked as ecological builds on the strength of the control and certification scheme to reduce the tendency of operators failing to meet relevant standards. The analysis will also reveal the monitoring activity carried out by the European Commission on the control structures of the Member States, the oversight of the control entities by the Member States and the trade of data existing between the different entities and authorities. The chapter will present an exercise in traceability of organic products in Romania.

 Lacramioara Oprica1, Irina Neta Gostin2, Mihaela Onofrei3, Sorin Gabriel Anton4

 1Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi, lacramioara.oprica@uaic.ro; 2Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi, irinagostin@yahoo.com; 3Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi, onofrei@uaic.ro; 4Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi, sorin.anton@uaic.ro

Abstract: Ensuring adequate nutrition and food safety are important issues that lead some consumers to prefer organic products instead conventional ones, although there are insufficient data that organic foods provide both qualities compared to conventional. For this reason, many people have doubts about the choice between organic products, and those obtained under conventional growing conditions. A lot of them believe that conventional foods are healthier than organic ones while others believe the opposite, and few people are indifferent to the choice of foods. One of the fundamental differences between organic and conventional foods is represented by the method used for crops production. In conventional agriculture, the soil is fertilized with mineral fertilizers, containing plant nutrients, such as nitrogen, phosphate, and potassium (among other minerals), but also with manure, compost, or sludge obtained after sewage treatment of industrial or municipal wastewater. Synthetic mineral fertilizers with nitrogen are not allowed in organic farming, and for this reason soil manure, green manure or other organic materials are used. Therefore, organic food includes agricultural products that are cultivated and processed without using fertilizers, pesticides, feed, additives, or genetically modified organisms (GMOs) obtained by bio-engineered genes. Generally, there is heterogeneity of the opinion regarding benefits of the organic food consumption. Although, several studies indicate there is no significant proof of the nutritional benefits by eating organic foods, other researches notice that organic foods generally have higher contents of antioxidants, and some micronutrients, like vitamin C, zinc and iron. As well, it is stated that nitrate levels are 30% lower in organically grown crops compared to those obtained conventionally. However, some people do not modify their food shopping routine because they cannot afford organic food, due to the large price difference between the two types of the food.

Biljana Grujic Vuckovski1, Vlado Kovacevic2

 1Institute of Agricultural Economics Belgrade, biljana_g@iep.bg.ac.rs; 2Institute of Agricultural Economics Belgrade, vlado_k@iep.bg.ac.rs.

Abstract: Organic agricultural production contributes, on the one hand, to ecological preservation and, on the other, to the sustainable development of agriculture. The main goal of the chapter is the presentation of the organic production from two aspects. The first is the macro level, which will present the available models of organic production at the EU level. The second aspect, the micro level, will show how individual farmers implement an organic production system. This chapter is merely a confirmation that organic farming is a quality standard that is legally regulated in each of EU’ countries and, as such, requires certification. In addition, in organic production there is the possibility of issuing individual and group certificates, so the ways of their implementation will be discussed. The fact that organic production is regulated means that it basically has certain principles that must be adhered to by all farmers who are in the organic production system.

Maria Anna Coniglio1, Zira Hichy2

1University of Catania, ma.coniglio@unict.it; 2University of Catania, z.hichy@unict.it.

Abstract: The aim of this chapter is to expose principal beliefs about organic food and effects of organic food consumption on health. Organic agriculture is a relatively small phenomenon; however, it is steadily growing. It may be important for producers to understand what are people’s beliefs about organic food and what are their effects on the body to better target their marketing strategy. The present chapter will start exposing the principal people’s beliefs about organic food. Indeed, various studies indicated that people purchase organic food because they believe that this kind of food is healthier and free from harmful chemical residues; moreover, people think it tastes better and has less impact on the environment. Because one of the most important people’s beliefs about organic food is related to its effects on health, in the second part of the chapter the effects of organic food consumption on health will be exposed.  At the moment, the potential health benefits for humans related to organic foods have not been yet  fully investigated. Anyway, it is known that the consumption of organic products is generally associated to specific lifestyle factors, such as for example healthier dietary patterns including a high intake of fruit, vegetables and wholegrain foods and a low intake of meat, which in turn reduce the risk of metabolic and cardiovascular diseases. Thus, it is not currently possible to associate organic food consumption to specific health advantages.

Irina Neta Gostin1, Lacramioara Oprica2, Mihaela Onofrei3, Sorin Gabriel Anton4

 1Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi, irinagostin@yahoo.com; 2Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi, lacramioara.oprica@uaic.ro; 3Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi, onofrei@uaic.ro; 1Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi, sorin.anton@uaic.ro.

 Abstract: Both the positive and negative impact of organic farming on the environment (compared to conventional agriculture) were highlighted. The positive impacts of organic farming on the environment are the following: reduction of pesticides, antibiotics and other chemicals released into the environment; increasing biodiversity by reducing chemical pollution (especially soil biodiversity which is strongly affected by the use of chemicals in agroecosystems); preservation and increasing the populations of pollinators, which are affected by the use of insecticides (reducing the number and diversity of pollinators leads to decreases the agricultural production in general); reducing pollution at all levels (soil, air, water). The negative impacts of the ecological agriculture on the environment are the following: the decrease of the production on the surface unit leads to the need to increase the surfaces included in the agricultural circuit (especially by deforestation); thus the CO2 emissions are higher to obtain the same amount of agricultural products in organic farming as compared to traditional agriculture.

 Roberta Piazza1, Giuseppe Santisi2

 1University of Catania: r.piazza@unict.it: 2University of Catania: gsantisi@unict.it.

Abstract:  In the past two decades, entrepreneurship education has gained increasing popularity internationally. Calls from higher education institutions to contribute to the education of an increasing number of students with “creativity, innovation and ability to take risks” are increasingly frequent by EU institutions. The constant reminder to entrepreneurship education however, is a concrete foundation in the developments that occur within patterns of entrepreneurship that are becoming common in various sectors of the economy, with particular attention to those areas that make sustainability a lever to develop and to increase the competitive advantage. The agri-food is just one of the areas where the innovation of business model is developed through an awareness of environmental challenges and an investment in human capital that starts right from schooling.

Carmen-Elena Dobrotă

 University of Bucharest, carmen.dobrota@faa.unibuc.ro.

Abstract: The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), managed and financed from the resources of the European Union (EU), supports the improvement of productivity in agriculture and maintains the vitality of the rural economy, also contributing to combating climate change, through three types of instruments: 1. direct payments to farmers 2. market measures to deal with difficult situations; and 3. rural development measures – with national and regional programmes that are responding to the challenges encountered in the rural areas. Direct payments and market measures are financed through the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund (EAGF) and rural development through the European Agricultural for Rural Development Fund (EARDF). The new Common Agricultural Policy 2014-2020 promotes a series of special measures to support organic farming, respectively 30% of direct payments are related to the compliance with some agricultural practices beneficial for the environment and at least 30% of the budget of the rural development programmes are allocated to agri-environment, to support organic farming or to projects related to investment or innovation measures in favour of the environment. This chapter presents how European funds allocated to (national) rural development programmes (NRDP), through a specific measure to support organic farming (M11), can contribute to the development of this sector, thus influencing the production and consumption of organic food. Romania will be presented as a case study, through a comparative analysis with the other EU member states. The chapter is also relevant from the perspective of the fact that European funding of organic farming contributes to soil protection, maintaining ecosystems that are linked to the use of sustainable agricultural practices, promoting the efficient use of natural resources and supporting the transition to an economy of lowemissions and adapted to the effects of climate change, while promoting a sustainable and balanced development of the rural area.

Svetlana Roljević Nikolić1, Vesna Paraušić2

 1Institut of Agricultural Economics, svetlana_r@iep.bg.ac.rs; 2 Institut of Agricultural Economics, vesna_pa@iep.bg.ac.rs.

Abstract: Organic farming is an integrated, environmentally sound, safe and economically sustainable agriculture production system and since the mid-1980s has it become the focus of significant attention from policy-makers, consumers, environmentalists and farmers. The aim of the paper is to present current state of organic farming development in global and EU market, and also ways how does organic farming contribute to sustainable development of rural areas. The case study has given an overview of the state of organic farming development in Serbia and its impact on Serbian sustainable development. Organic farming in Serbia has a potential to provide positive externalities not only on environmental protection, but also in economic and social aspects, contributing to rural employment and helping sustainability of small farms. However, there are number of major hurdles and problems in this sector needed to be overcome. One major impediment is financial constraint at all levels of the value chain, another is poor organization of players along this chain, and the third one is low efficiency of production, processing, and marketing. Only by overcoming these constraints organic agriculture can contribute to the sustainable development of rural areas in Serbia.

 Elena Preda1, Irina-Elena Petrescu2, Mihai Dinu3, Maria Piștalu4

 1The Bucharest University of Economic Studies, elena.preda@eam.ase.ro; 2The Bucharest University of Economic Studies, irina.petrescu@eam.ase.ro; 3The Bucharest University of Economic Studies, mihai.dinu@eam.ase.ro; 4 The Bucharest University of Economic Studies, maria.pistalu@eam.ase.ro

 Abstract: Organic agriculture seems to be the most suitable approach to achieving sustainable food systems. Many efforts have been made at the European level, including development of principles and rules for organic production, certification and use of indications, legislative and financial support and even research and innovation programmes for knowledge development. The organic farming is an important topic for close collaboration between farmers and researchers with different knowledge and expertise, working together and exchanging innovative ideas. The main ways of supporting the organic agricultural production are presented at the EU level, by considering the financial support provided within the CAP regulatory framework and the knowledge base development provided by the implementation of the research and innovation programmes.

Marko Jeločnik1, Jonel Subić2

1Institute of Agricultural Economics (IAE), Belgrade, marko_j@iep.bg.ac.rs; 2Institute of Agricultural Economics (IAE), Belgrade, jonel_s@iep.bg.ac.rs  

Abstract: Investments have important role in development of agriculture, both at macro or micro level. The main goal of chapter is to present the basic methods (static and dynamic) used for evaluation of economic efficiency of investments in agriculture made at farm level.  Economic advantage for small family farms to enrol the organic production system would be presented within the chapter throughout the comparative analysis of the economic justification of investment in organic or conventional vegetable production organized in protected area (purchase of plastic greenhouse and necessary equipment). Assuming the identical production and market preconditions, the initial presumption has been proven, i.e. better value of indicators of economic assessment of investments would be achieved if investment object is implemented in organic system of production.

Octavian Postolache1, João Monge2

 1 Iscte-Instituto Universitário de Lisboa, opostolache@lx.it.pt; 2 Instituto de Telecomunicações, IT-IUL Joao_Monge@iscte-iul.pt

Abstract: In the context of current realities when the global population is growing by more than 80 million a year some of the studies are predicting an increasing pressure on the planet natural resources also including the food resources. One of the solutions is the adoption of precision agriculture that contributes to the development of efficient and sustainable agricultural production. The implementation of precision agriculture with high performance is based on accurate measurement of parameters associated with the physical and biological potential of natural resources. Using the new technologies including geographic information system and artificial intelligence accurate estimations of resources can be carried out. For better results on ecological agriculture, several reports are underlining the importance of agro-ecological zonation that provides preliminary evaluation for a regional sustainable development planning including the usage of remote sensing and distributed sensing. Thus, the productivity of terrestrial vegetation can be assessed based on remote sensing of the field and the weather through the data obtained by satellite. Additionally, IoT ecosystem including wireless sensor network nodes distributed on the land or associated with UAV can provide information about temperature, relative humidity, rainfall, solar radiation conditions that are suitable for vegetation growth the characterization and production prediction can be obtained using appropriate machine learning elements. The main goal of the chapter is to present the hardware and software technologies that are used to perform the agro-ecological assessment, technologies that are also part of the 21st century agriculture, the precision agriculture.

Henrique O’Neill1, Octavian Pastolache2

 1 ISCTE – University Institute of Lisbon (ISCTE-IUL), ISTAR-IUL, henrique.oneill@iscte-iul.pt; 2 ISCTE – University Institute of Lisbon (ISCTE-IUL), IT-IUL, opostolache@lx.it.pt

Abstract: Farming comprises production, manufacturing transformation and distribution of the farming product. To optimize results farming supply chain needs to be managed in an integrated, systematic and rigorous way. This requires appropriate performance metrics and accurate data. Aiming to optimize farming results through data science, this chapter proposes a business process management approach using information based visual modelling standard language (BPMN 2.0). Data science techniques (AI, machine learning, Big Data, data analysis and visualization) may be considered within the scope of the farming business processes. The approach is applied to two key farming products: rice and wine making. Some opportunities and constraints for data science in farming are identified. Considering the educational purpose of this book the reader is challenged to apply the approach to fresh farming products like leafy green, herbs, vegetables, fruits or flowers that may be produced in more controlled environments like green houses or indoor vertical farms.