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Master in

Agro-food marketing

Next edition: 1st part: 25 September 2017 – 1 June 2018 / 2nd part: September 2018 – June 2019

Master in

Agro-food marketing

General information on the Unit

Contact hours: 52 (34.5 lectures, 17.5 practicals)
Personal work hours: 73
Character: Compulsory
Venue: Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Zaragoza
- Developed in the first academic year of the Master, during the first semester.
- The assessment of this Unit consists of a continuous evaluation of some of the practical exercises and a written exam during the first semester.
Requisites and permanence
There are no previous requisites. Previous knowledge of economics and quantitative analysis facilitates the achievement of learning outcomes – a refreshing course on microeconomics and econometrics is available for those requiring it.
Learning methods
Combination of theoretical and practical sessions consisting of lectures, group work, computer work and a seminar-round table.
Lecturers deliver the topics in English. Simultaneous interpretation into Spanish is provided. The documents supplied by the lecturers may be written in English or Spanish.


Presentation of the Unit and context within the syllabus

In this Unit, through a theoretical framework of international trade, the main theories and present trends of agro-food international trade are explained. Various aspects are addressed in further detail, such as the framework for trade liberalization and WTO negotiations on agro-food issues. The Unit also presents the potential of modern information and communication systems for agro-food marketing and possibilities for its utilization. The alternatives in technology and information/communication system designs are reviewed. Other issues are the linkages between management approaches, information needs and system implementation, and the principles of electronic data exchange systems. Finally, models for agricultural products are studied through a systematic approach to analyze market behaviour. Main steps covered are the identification of the economic structure, forecasting and policy analysis. The process of the econometric model building is studied: problem identification, model specification, data gathering and estimation, verification (and re-specification) and application of the model.



Specific competences

  • SC2 Knowing the main international market theories and current trends in international agro-food marketing.
  • SC3 Building and using econometric models enabling the analysis of agro-food markets' behaviour.
  • SC4 Using current information and communication systems to improve marketing strategies.

General competences

  • GC1 Integrating scientific and technical knowledge and applying them discerningly.
  • GC2 Performing scientific and/or technical information searches and processing them selectively.
  • GC3 Analyzing results or strategies and elaborating conclusions which contribute to clarify the problems and to find possible solutions.
  • GC6 Team-working and promoting exchange and collaboration attitudes with other students, researchers and professionals.
  • GC7 Communicating reasoning and conclusions both to a general audience and to a specialized public.
  • GC8 Writing presentations and synthesis, preparing and presenting oral communications, and defending them in public.

Learning outcomes

The student, at the end of the learning of this Unit:

  • Is acquainted with the main international market theories and current trends in international agro-food marketing, paying spatial attention to market access and liberalization and to the World Trade Organization negotiations concerning agro-food issues.
  • Knows how to best use current information and communication systems in agro-food marketing, optimizing links between management strategies, information needs and the choice of the most convenient information systems.
  • Is able to build and use econometric models enabling the analysis of agro-food markets behaviour.



  • Economic factors conditioning international trade
  • Agro-food policies on international trade
  • Main elements for the development of agro-food international trade
  • Information and communication systems and data management
  • Information systems management of agro-food marketing data
  • Structural development of econometric models
  • Supply, demand and price modelling of agricultural commodities
  • Validation of econometric models


Learning activities

Learning activity 1: Lectures combined with illustrative examples
ECTS: 4.1
Hours: 103.5
Percentage of contact: 33.5%

Learning activity 2: Work in groups to analyze trade patterns and policies in different countries. Students work in 5 groups, each one focused on a single country. The five chosen countries exemplify the range of factors that determine international trade patterns and policies. Each group has to assemble information from internet (addresses of some key sites are provided by the lecturer) and answer specific questions that guide their analysis. Each group will prepare a presentation to be discussed with the lecturer and the other groups. Then, each student has to present a brief report of 1 page with their personal interpretation of the analysis.
ECTS: 0.2
Hours: 6
Percentage of contact: 33%

Learning activity 3: Solving of exercises and problems. Students work in the classroom, individually and in groups, on data validation, on variables and functions in data management and processing, and on data preparation and calculation.
ECTS: 0.5
Hours: 1,5
Percentage of contact: 100%

Learning activity 4: Practical sessions with computers
(A) Information systems and data management
Use of tools and techniques for data cleaning, and introduction to the use of the programming language R.
(B) Modelling of agricultural commodities
Practical work with computers to familiarize the students with the modelling process and improve their skills in modelling and simulating commodity markets. Additionally, the students learn to value the source data and enlarge their statistical knowledge. Students work in pairs with data contributed by the lecturer, introducing them in the computer using statistical software, focusing on their ability to interpret findings in an economic context. Students receive advice from the lecturer on the processes needed and questions to be answered to interpret the results.
ECTS: 0.5
Hours: 12 (A: 2, B: 10)
Percentage of contact: 100%

Learning activity 5: Seminar-round table on “Export and promotion of agro-food products” to debate with professionals of the agro-food sector on the approaches and strategies followed by different public and private institutions and enterprises to enhance their opportunities to gain foreign markets.
ECTS: 0.1
Hours: 2
Percentage of contact: 100%


Assessment methods

Assessment system 1: Written exam, composed of questions provided by the different lecturers of the Unit, covering the lectures, issues discussed in the seminar-round-table, and exercises similar to those carried out during the practicals. The exam is made up of concrete questions requiring a short answer, being possible also multiple-choice tests. Short-answer questions are marked according to the technical and conceptual precision of the answer, and to the reasoning approach.
Weighting: 92% of the final score of the Unit (Int. trade: 17%, Inf. systems: 21%, Econometric mod.: 54%)

Assessment system 2: Global assessment by the lecturer tutoring the work in groups based on the quality of the presentation and discussion.
The score is the same for all members of the group.
Weighting: 4% of the final score of the Unit

Assessment system 3: Individual assessment by the lecturer tutoring the work in groups based on the report prepared by each student. Suitability of the answers to the questions posed will be assessed.
Weighting: 4% of the final score of the Unit



Philip GARCIA, Univ. Illinois, Urbana (United States)
Dragan MILJKOVIC, North Dakota State Univ., Fargo (United States)
Niall MINTO, Dublin Institute of Technology, Dublin (Ireland)

Introductory course on econometrics
Azucena GRACIA, CITA-GA, Zaragoza (Spain)