Agro-food Marketing

Organized by MAI Zaragoza
Mai Coordinators: Mario Anamaría</p> <p>Scientific coordinator: Dr. Luis Miguel ALBISU

Aims

Agro-food marketing, in constant evolution, plays a vital role in the outcome and the coordination of business policies and management processes within the agro-food system. The development of the Mediterranean region has been limited by inappropriate marketing structures for agricultural and food products. The lack of up-to-date information about modern marketing techniques, both in the food industries and in the public sector, has been one of the causes of this limitation. Therefore the training of specialists in the topic acquires greater importance. The Master presents a global and integrated vision of the components of agribusiness marketing and the traditional markets of agricultural commodities, placing special emphasis on the international dimension of strategies

Objectives

- To understand the theoretical elements of marketing, and to master the use of the most modern tools and methods applicable to this discipline, taking into account the particularities of the agro-food sector and its institutional and political environment. - To be able to integrate the different components of a marketing programme, and to value the advantages and disadvantages of a variety of strategies and methods that, according to the economic objectives and different institutional and market situations, may increase companies’ profit and competitiveness and satisfy consumer needs. - To know how to design, implement and assess agro-food marketing programmes, and to be able to advise companies or public institutions in conducting market research projects and formulating marketing strategies, paying special attention to those of international scope. - To assume the responsibility of planning and carrying out, under the supervision of a tutor, but in a manner that must be largely autonomous, a work of initiation to research in agro-food marketing, whose results may be potentially publishable. - To prove knowledge of the scientific and technical information underpinning the research conducted, command of the techniques and methodologies relevant to such research, and capacity to objectively evaluate the significance of its results and conclusions. - To know how to communicate the reasoning and conclusions of tutored works carried out in a group or autonomously, to develop skills in the preparation of informative and synthetic documents, and to acquire experience in the preparation and presentation of oral communications delivered and defended before an audience.

PART 1
THE MASTER OF CIHEAM - ZARAGOZA PROGRAMME

TRAINING SEQUENCE

The programme is organized in 8 Units (60 ECTS)

Unit 1
28 Sept.-16 Oct. ’15    SUPPLY, DEMAND AND PRICES OF AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS (5 ECTS)

Unit 2
13-30 Oct. ’15    INTERNATIONAL TRADE AND MODELLING OF AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS (5 ECTS)

Unit 3
03-27 Nov. ’15    AGRO-FOOD MARKET STRUCTURE AND POLICIES (8 ECTS)

Unit 4
23 Nov.-18 Dec. ’15
and
11-22 Jan. ’16    MARKETING AND MARKET RESEARCH (9 ECTS)

Unit 5
25 Jan.-19 Feb. ’16    PROGRAMMING THE MARKETING MIX (8 ECTS)

Unit 6
15 Feb.-04 Mar. ’16    MARKETING STRATEGY AND CONTROL (4 ECTS)

Unit 7
07-18 Mar.
and
04-14 Apr. ’16    INTERNATIONAL MARKETING AND CASE STUDIES OF FIRMS (6 ECTS)

Unit 8
28 Sept. ’15-
03 June. ’16    MARKETING PROJECT (15 ECTS)

EXAMINATIONS

Participants take 8 written examinations, 1 for each unit except in Unit 4 that they take 2. Written exams consist of a set of questions that require a concise answer. Some of the questions are multiple choice. Lengthy questions are avoided. Exams evaluate the comprehension of lectures content, exercises, computer practices, individual/group work methodologies, and processes observed during technical visits. Participants may retake failed exams once.
In addition, participants present: (i) written documents carried out in groups, which are presented and defended orally, to complement the examinations of Units 1, 3, 4, 5 and 6; (ii) individual or group exercises, laboratory results or written reports to complement the examination of Units 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7.
Participants may retake failed exams once.
To evaluate Unit 8 participants must elaborate written documents that are presented and defended orally before a jury for its qualification. As the projects are carried out in groups, each component presents and defends a different part and the jury gives a common grade for the project and an individual grade for each group component. Furthermore, each group component is also graded by the project tutor and the IAMZ coordinator, on the basis of personal attitude and involvement during the realisation of the project

LANGUAGE OF INSTRUCTION
The working languages are English, French and Spanish. Lecturers can teach in any of the three languages. Simultaneous translation into Spanish is provided when lecturers speak English or French, therefore participants should prove knowledge of Spanish at the start of the course. From the beginning of July to the end of September IAMZ organizes an intensive course of Spanish for those who require it. Participants can answer the exams in Spanish, French or English. In the selection of candidates, knowledge of English is nevertheless valued, as part of the documentation distributed may be written in this language.
Detailed additional information is available at the Master web site (http://masters.iamz.ciheam.org/en/agrofoodmarketing)

PART 2
THE MASTER OF SCIENCE THESIS

Supervised research work: Thesis and defence (60 ECTS)
Duration: 11 months

Project (10 months duration, 60 ECTS)

This part is organized in 2 Units

INTRODUCTION TO RESEARCH (30 ECTS)
The aim of this unit is to provide the prior knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to carry out a research project in a particular topic in the speciality of agro-food marketing.
Learning outcomes:

  • To improve skills in the search for information, as well as in its selective and systematic treatment.
  • To develop criteria for defining the objectives of a particular research study.
  • To know how to plan the research work in order to best achieve the objectives set and to optimise time.
  • To develop skills in the use of techniques and methodologies relevant to the execution of a research project and to discern the advantages and disadvantages of each one for each particular project.
  • To know how to integrate knowledge and to learn how to analyse and contrast results.
  • To value the guidance received to plan and develop a research work, fostering dialogue, criticism and capacity to work as a member of a team. 
  • To develop skills for self-directed learning and autonomous work.
  • To improve the capacity of response to unforeseen situations and the ability to reorient a research if need be.

MASTER THESIS (30 ECTS)
The aim of this unit is to apply previous education received throughout the Master programme to carry out original research in the topic chosen in the previous unit, that concludes with the elaboration of a written thesis. 
Learning outcomes:

  • To be able to apply previously acquainted knowledge, methods and techniques in a discerning manner.
  • To develop skills in the analysis of problems and in the definition of objectives.
  • To know how to design the diverse experiments included in the research project correctly.
  • To be competent in data collection and analysis according to a pre-established research protocol.
  • To gain experience in the analysis of results and the elaboration of conclusions that may contribute to clarify and find possible solutions to problems.
  • To develop skills in the synthesis and presentation of contents and in the preparation of scientific texts.
  • To gain practice in the preparation and presentation of oral communications and in their public defence.
  •  To acquire attitudes to favour exchange and collaboration with other researchers and professionals.

Research work is carried out in well-recognized institutions (universities, research centres or firms), generally throughout Spain or in the participant's country of origin, under the scientific supervision of a thesis director that must be a doctor of renowned prestige. Participants choose the topic according to their interest of training, which is approved by a Committee. If the participant so requires, IAMZ advises on the choice of the most appropriate thesis director and institution to carry out the desired project, and likewise propose topics related to activities of cooperative research coordinated by IAMZ or other topics of interest previously accorded between IAMZ and other institutions.
The assessment of acquired competences for both units is made by an examining board composed of a representative of the IAMZ and at least three external members selected in each case for their expertise and prestige in the field of the research work. For the first unit, this assessment is based on: (i) an oral examination by the examining board; (ii) the evaluation done by the thesis director on the performance of the candidate; and (iii) the evaluation based on the reports presented periodically by the participant, with the support of the thesis director, on the development and progress of the research work. For the second unit, assessment is based on quality of the thesis and on its public presentation and defence.

Research activities: most common topics for Master of Science theses

  • Market analysis of diverse agro-food sectors, focusing on one country or comparing two or more
  • Competitiveness of a country sector in international trade within the framework of a determinate international marketing policy
  • Consumer behaviour and market research of a product in a given market context
  • Product and pricing policies and marketing strategies for a sector or type of product

INDICATIVE MASTER THESES REALIZED WITHIN THE AREA

1.    Title: Evaluation of the socio-economic impact of local trade (0 food-miles) through the study of the value chain: Case study of a basket of fresh vegetables and the pear produced in the area of La Horta de Lleida, Spain (2015)
Author: Hind Belarbi, Food Industry Engineer, Morocan
Place of realization: Departamento de Administración de Empresas y Gestión Económica de los Recursos Naturales, Universitat de Lleida,Spain
Thesis director: Antonio Colom
2. Title: Functional foods: consumption profiles and willingness to pay for various dairy products enriched with CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) (2013)
Author: Jorgelina Di Pasquale, Veterinarian, Italian
Place of realization: Dipartimento di Scienze Mediche Veterinarie, Università degli Studi di Bologna, Italy
Thesis director: Felice Adinolfi
3. Title: Labelling, nutrition and obesity: analysis of consumer behaviour (2011)
Author: Djamal Rahmani, Agronomist, Algerian
Place of realization: Departamento de Fundamentos de Análisis Económico, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales, Universidad de Santiago de Compostela (Spain)
Thesis director: Maria Luz Loureiro
4. Title: Factors associated to consumption and production of quality labelled lamb in Aragón: consumers versus producers (2010)
Author: Wilmer Sepúlveda, Agronomist, Colombian
Place of realization: Departamento de Agricultura y Economía Agraria, Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad de Zaragoza, Spain
Thesis director: María Teresa Maza 
5. Title: Modelling the impact of food safety information on meat demand in Spain (2009)
Author: Amr Ahmed Radwan, Agronomist, Egyptian
Place of realization: Centro de Investigación en Economía y Desarrollo Agroalimentario (CREDA-UPC-IRTA), Castelldefels, Spain
Thesis director: José María Gil

ACADEMIC STAFF TEACHING WITHIN THE M.SC. PROGRAMME 
Some 34 invited lecturers from about 8 countries participate in each edition of the M.Sc. programme of which, 70% come from Higher Education Institutions, 18% from Research Centres, 9% from Private Companies and 3% from International Centres.