Maria Elena Latino Marta Menegoli Fulvio Signore Angelo Scialpi Angelo Corallo


Aim. The modern economic era is riven with issues that significantly affect day-to-day existence. Climate change and its effects are among the most crucial. In this regard, Xylella fastidiosa infection represents one of the most difficult challenges in Italy. The purpose of  this study is to propose decision-making insights that, beginning from the emotive information provided by the media, build a foundation for containing the negative economic effects of the Xylella phenomenon by involving the key actors in the agri-food supply chain.

Design/methodology. The study was composed in different consequent phases: an in-depth historical and literature analysis of the phenomenon; a sentiment analysis on the emotions mostly conveyed by the newspapers that covered the topic; and a PLS-SEM model
in a case study of consumers. Measures were detected through a quantitative questionnaire.

Findings. The results suggest that the most frequently conveyed emotion was trust. The PLS-SEM mediation model highlighted that trust in farmers could have an indirect impact on willingness to buy olive oil through the perception of safety in the Italian market. Estimates were validated through bootstrap analysis.

Novelty. The study aims to investigate a subject that has not yet been addressed, outside of a biological perspective from a systemic point of view. Complementing the current biological and agronomic viewpoints with a different framework could represent a well-established element in assessing the relationship between trust in the agri-food supply chain actors and consumer willingness to buy during critical events by offering crucial insights on economic engagement policies.