Innovation in the agro-food value chain
Agriculture refers to the production of both agricultural and horticultural products, as well as services. Agribusiness refers to commercial agriculture and related businesses that are directly involved in the production of final goods (Caiazza et al., 2016). Agro-food is a subset of agribusiness that refers to industries involved in the production, processing and inspection of food products made from agricultural commodities. It includes both the production of agriculture foods and their processing by industry. The agro-food sector is a fragmented industry involving a diverse range of various enterprises: farmers, processors, marketers, and distributors. According to Caiazza et al. (2014), the agro-food system concerns an articulated set of activities, technologies, resources and organizations that contribute to the creation, transformation, distribution and commercialization of a specific product. Over the past two decades, the agro-food system has been transformed from a loosely coordinated local network of producers and consumers to a globalized system of formally regulated trade which links socially and spatially distant sites of production and consumption. It is affected by three main factors: Natural resources, innovations and institutions.
The chapters in this e-book aim to demonstrate two key factors in the area of agribusiness innovation. First, they show a wide variety of directions that a firm can take in order to become more innovative or at least maintain their level of innovation. Second, these chapters demonstrate that there has been a body of knowledge that can assist both the academic researcher in better understanding the role of innovation and agribusiness as well as providing guidelines for agribusiness practitioners to address innovation. It has been said many times by many people that a firm is either going forward or going backwards but it cannot stand still. Thus, these chapters provide a basis for going forward.
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