Keynote speakers at the conference

Sofi Gerber - PhD

Employed at BERAS International as coordinator of Sörmland Bio District within the EU Interreg project KISMET Sustainable Food Environments


Sofi Gerber holds a PhD in European Ethnology. Since 2012, she has been working with research, education and development in relation to organic food and sustainable food systems in Sweden and the Baltic Sea Region. At the moment, she is coordinating the start up of Swedens first organic district in the region of Sörmland south of Stockholm.

Cesare Zanasi - Associate professor

Bologna University.


Member of the Global Alliance for Organic Districts (GAOD), scientific coordinator on the international Network of Eco-Regions Research (IN.N.E.R.). His research is related to the food systems sustainability and governance with a focus on the organic districts development.

Samir Mili is Senior Scientist and Director

IEGD-CCHS-CSIC, C/ Albasanz, 26-28. 28037 Madrid, Spain


Dr Samir Mili is Senior Scientist and Director of the Department of Applied Economics and Geography at the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) in Madrid. He has over 30 years professional experience focusing on economic and policy analysis related to agriculture and food systems. He authored or co-authored over 120 scientific publications including various books. He has collaborations with various international organizations (including the European Commission, the World Bank, OECD, FAO, UNESCO, CIHEAM, the International Olive Council), universities and international research centres. D. Mili holds a PhD in Agricultural Economics from the Polytechnic University of Madrid, and a MSc in Agri-Food Marketing from the International Center for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies.

John Thøgersen - Full Professor, Ph.D., dr. merc.

Aarhus University, Department of Management

Fuglesangs Allé 4, 8210 Aarhus V


John Thøgersen is professor of economic psychology at Aarhus University, Department of Management, where he coordinates the Marketing and Sustainability Research Group. He is also connected to MAPP – Centre for research on customer relations in the food sector. His core research focus is sustainable consumption in developed and emerging economies.

His current research projects focus on consumer acceptance of climate policy and willingness to reduce their climate footprint, consumer responses to “true” prices on food and to various eco- and climate labelling, spillover of pro-environmental behavior and the establishment of a (more) sustainable lifestyle, and drivers and impediments for growing the market for organic food in Europe.

Christian Herzig, Prof. Dr.

Justus Liebig University Giessen, Institute for Business Administration for the Agricultural and Food Economy, Senckenbergstr. 3, D-35390 Giessen

Christian Herzig is Full Professor of Business Administration for the Food Economy and Agribusiness at the Justus Liebig University (JLU) Giessen, Germany, where he coordinates the Master programme in Sustainable Food Economics (in German) and heads the University’s Center for Sustainable Food Systems. 

In his research, he engages with three interrelated areas: the management and control processes of value-oriented business in the agricultural and food sector and the question of how institutional and organisational factors influence the development, application and dissemination of new methodological approaches; the design and management of food value chains and production networks (incl. innovative business models and alternative/ transformative forms of food production and consumption); and sustainable food entrepreneurship and the question of how entrepreneurs, pioneering companies and markets interact with each other in the transformation of our food system. Within all of these areas, a particular interest lies in the organic food sector which gives special attention to the principles of the economy for the common good and producing healthy food in a sustainable manner.

Prof. Raffaele Zanoli (MA, PhD)

Professor of Agricultural Economics and Food Marketing & Management at the Università Politecnica delle Marche (UNIVPM), Italy and a senior principal research scientist with 30 years of experience primarily related to the economics and market analyses of the food sector.

He participated in or coordinated a dozen international research projects, mostly EU-funded. He has been an expert and consultant on organic farming for the European Commission, the Swiss Federal Government, the Italian Government, and the FAO. He is currently a board member of the International Society for Organic Agriculture Research (ISOFAR) and Editor-in-Chief of Organic Agriculture (Springer). He is the founder and currently president of the Italian Research Association on Organic Farming (GRAB-IT).

He has authored over 150 scientific papers of which 94 are referenced on Scopus (H-Index 25).

Patrizia Pugliese

Agro-economist, senior researcher and development officer at CIHEAM Bari, Ph.D in Policies for Sustainable Development, MSc in Rural Resources and Countryside Management. She has twenty-five-year experience in research, training and development cooperation work on rural development, sustainable and organic agriculture in EU and developing countries, with deeper expertise in the Mediterranean region and focus on rural economy diversification, sustainable and inclusive value chain development, place-based and eco-region approaches to territorial development. Current fields of interest and work also include rural women’s empowerment and meaningful participation to agri-food value chains and rural economy, agroecological transitions, organic districts and sustainable organic food systems. Author of various scientific contributions, with participation to different EU-funded research projects. Member of the CIHEAM Bari Secretariat of the Mediterranean Organic Agriculture Network (MOAN). Focal point for CIHEAM Bari Institute of CIHEAM corporate Working Group on Gender.