Rural Entrepreneurship and the Craving for Organic Food: Two Interrelated Market Dimensions. Evidence from a Single Case Study


  • Alessio Travasi Carlo Bo University of Urbino
  • Francesco Mutignani Carlo Bo University of Urbino



Rural Entrepreneurship, Consumer Personal Values, Peripheral Areas, Territorial Development, Organic Agriculture


The aim of the paper is to understand the impact of organic agriculture by integrating organic food consumer behaviour into the more general impact of rural entrepreneurship on the development of peripheral areas (PAs). The analysis is carried out using the case study approach. The case of Girolomoni Co-op, whose founder is considered the father of Italian organic farming, was chosen for its relevance to the topics to be investigated. The results show how the support of customers, especially foreign ones, who are well informed about the environmental and health benefits of organic food consumption, allows the co-op to successfully apply high value redistribution policies to the entire ecosystem, with particular reference to farmers in the peripheral areas in which the firm is located. The analysis highlights that, although the commitment of the co-op and the ethics underpinning the organisation make a great contribution to the resilience of the peculiar socio-economic context in which it takes place, the presence of public support is crucial in order to stem the spiral of depopulation and marginalisation that afflicts PAs.

Author Biographies

Alessio Travasi, Carlo Bo University of Urbino

Alessio Travasi is a PhD candidate in Global Studies at the University of Urbino Carlo Bo, Department of Economy, Society, and Politics (DESP). After his Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Management, he specialized in Marketing and International Business, earning two Master's degrees in International Marketing and Business Communication. His current research focuses mainly on international entrepreneurship and Born Global companies. In particular, he has focused on the role of digital technologies in shaping the business models and internationalization processes of Born Global enterprises.

Francesco Mutignani, Carlo Bo University of Urbino

Francesco Mutignani is a PhD candidate in Global Studies at the University of Urbino Carlo Bo, Department of Economy, Society, and Politics (DESP). He achieved his Master’s degree in Business and Management at the same University. His research interests concern peripheral areas development strategies, focusing on the role of entrepreneurship and business network relationships, investigated through the lens of Industrial Marketing and Purchasing (IMP).