icono d4

Department 4-Agri-food and environmental economics

Head of division
Azucena Gracia Royo

Research in this field focuses on the economic analysis of activities that use biological resources and their derivatives (bioeconomy activities) in an efficient and sustainable way and their relationship with the environment, natural resources and the rural environment. Maintaining the sustainability and viability of systems contributes to the One Health approach that recognises the interrelationship between environmental, human and animal health. The line consists of two closely linked research areas: agri-food economics and environmental economics.

The agri-food economy is understood in its broadest sense to include, therefore, the economic sectors that use biological resources, their by-products and waste to produce food, bioproducts (such as bioenergy, bioplastics, cosmetics, among others) and bioservices. However, the agri-food system, due to its economic and social importance and its direct impact on citizens' health, will have a marked relevance. Research in agri-food economics focuses on analysing the economic aspects related to the production, distribution, international trade and consumption of food, bioproducts and bioservices to help actors in these sectors to provide sufficient safe and healthy food, bioproducts and bioservices, while respecting the environment. 

Environmental economics, on the other hand, examines the interactions between these economic activities and the natural environment. In other words, it seeks to understand how economic decisions and public policies affect the environment and to develop strategies to promote economic growth, especially in rural areas, while minimising negative impacts on natural resources and ecosystems. Research in these disciplines is aimed at improving the competitiveness of agri-food and related systems (bioenergy, bioplastics, etc.) while respecting the environment, promoting sustainable development and contributing to the maintenance of the rural world.

In this context, two general lines of research are proposed in the field of agri-food and environmental economics that address the aspects of interest mentioned above.