NIFK14036U The Food Industry: Structure and Economics

Volume 2017/2018

MSc Programme in Agriculture


The uniqueness of food markets
Food crises
The food sector under economic development
Food clusters
Globalisation and food markets
Developing countries and food markets
Food demand
Food market policy
The structure of food industry
Cooperatives in the food industry
Mergers and acquisitions in the food industry
International food business
Models and methods in international food business
The Danish Agri-food industry
European Agri-food systems and trends

Visits to agri-food companies and guest speakers form agri-food business institutions are major parts of the course.

Learning Outcome

The main object of the course is to provide the student with basic and advanced understanding of economic and market analyses related to the agri-food industry and actual knowledge of the sector.

An understanding of structure, functions and current issues in the agri-food
economy from input industry to farm processing and retail in Denmark and internationally.

After completing the course the student should be able to:


  • Define and describe some economic approaches in such a way as to be able to analyze the agri-food industry
  • Describe the structure of agri-food industries in Denmark, Europe and elsewhere
  • Describe and analyze issues pertaining in the agri-food industry such as mergers, competitiveness, vertical linkages and contracts
  • Describe and analyze the special role of agri-food cooperatives and farm organizations
  • Describe and analyze strategies of agri-food companies
  • Describe the globalization processes of agri-food companies


  • Use basic economic and management models to analyze issues related to the organization of the food industry


  • Identify, describe and analyze the functions, structure and issues in the agri-food industry in Denmark, Europe and Internationally
  • Cooperate with fellow students and industry experts in identifying problems,
  • use theory, apply research methods, and communicate the results to experts and general audiences

Course Litterature to be announced at Absalon:
a. Journal articles
b. Industry reports
c. Textbook
d. Slides


theoretical exercises
project work
Guest/business lectures
The course is planned so that students from other institutions, faculties and universities can participate.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Exam
  • 2
  • Excursions
  • 16
  • Guidance
  • 30
  • Lectures
  • 48
  • Preparation
  • 50
  • Project work
  • 60
  • Total
  • 206
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written examination, 2 hours under invigilation
Written assignment
Description of Examination:

a. 2-hour written exam in lecture hall
b. Report on study project and presentation. The report is about analyzing strategies, strategic challenges, business problems, food industry projects etc. for a specific agri- or food company. One or two students per project. It is specified at the beginning which is the contribution of each student. Students also are asked individual questions. Students receive individual evaluations at the end.
c. Weekly exercises. 6 out of 6 weekly exercises must be submitted.

Weight: Written exam: 30 pct. Reports and presentation: 40 pct. Exercises: 30 pct.

The grade is to be set as a weighted average of the results from the part-examinations, and the course is passed if the weighted grade is passed.

The course has been selected for ITX exam at Peter Bangs Vej.
All aids allowed

NB: If the exam is held at the ITX, the ITX will provide computers. Private computer, tablet or mobile phone CANNOT be brought along to the exam. Books and notes should be brought on paper or saved on a USB key.

Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
One internal examiner

Oral examination covering the entire curriculum. Weight 100%. Duration 45 - 60 minutes. No time for preparation.

Criteria for exam assesment

See learning outcome