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Master in

Agro-food marketing

Next edition: 1st part: 27 September 2021 – 3 June 2022 / 2nd part: September 2022 – June 2023

Master in

Agro-food marketing

General information on the Unit

Contact hours: 52 (36.5 lectures, 15.5 practicals)
Personal work hours: 48
Character: Compulsory
Venue: Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Zaragoza
- Developed in the first academic year of the Master, during the second semester.
- The assessment of this Unit consists of a continuous evaluation of some of the practical exercises and a written exam during the second semester.
Requisites and permanence
There are no previous requisites.
Learning methods
Combination of theoretical and practical sessions consisting of lectures, a case study, group work and solving of exercises and problems.
Lecturers may deliver the course in English or French. Simultaneous interpretation into Spanish is provided. The documents supplied by the lecturers may also be written in English or French.


Presentation of the Unit and context within the syllabus

This Unit first addresses how the organization should define the nature of its activities in terms of the generic requirements of the target market. The strategic marketing management process is studied, considering financial objectives, strategic direction, product, swot analysis, market segmentation and product life-section. The Unit then gathers the theories and applications of product and process innovations to the agro-food industries. The product development process receives special attention covering the different models, key activities and technological implementation. The success factors and the organizations also receive careful analysis. An overview of the role of the manager and of sales management in agricultural organizations is provided, including support and implementation of the marketing functions. The basic theories and practical applications of sales management are discussed: the framework of sales management within the overall business, the role of leadership and motivation in management and marketing, and the aspects of managing team and individual performance to fulfil business goals. Students carry out practical work on the solving of case problems. Finally, the Unit gathers the framework for business diagnosis. It specifies all the contents, such as the control panel, the business environment, including the strategy, the mode of organisation, the systems and procedures, the productivity and the functions. Some items deserve special attention like the global business diagnosis, market share, marketing costs and marketing productivity.



Specific competences

  • SC4 Using current information and communication systems to improve marketing strategies.
  • SC5 Identifying public and private institutions involved in agro-food markets and assessing the existing agro-food policies and possible derived incentives for the marketing of agro-food products.
  • SC6 Integrating food safety, labelling and product quality in marketing plans, considering the regulations established by agro-food policies at international and national levels.
  • SC7 Mastering the concepts, components and phases of marketing and its specific application to agro-food products.
  • SC10 Understanding the key factors for success in innovation management, and gaining experience in the practice of idea generation and new product development.
  • SC11 Evaluating marketing programmes and being able to provide guidance to improve their outputs and efficiency.

General competences

  • GC1 Integrating scientific and technical knowledge and applying them discerningly.
  • GC3 Analyzing results or strategies and elaborating conclusions which contribute to clarify the problems and to find possible solutions.
  • GC4 Making decisions and generating new ideas and knowledge in complex systems.
  • GC5 Learning and working autonomously, responding to unforeseen situations and re-aiming a strategy if necessary.
  • 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:

  • Establishes marketing management strategies enabling the best use of resources to increase sales and gain competitive advantages, integrating customer needs, business objectives and competitors characteristics.
  • Understands the key factors for success in innovation management, and identifies changes and trends in the agro-food marketing providing opportunities for new products.
  • Has experience in the practice of idea generation and concept development, and in the organization of processes to develop and test new products.
  • Is aware of the importance of sales organization in the support and implementation of marketing functions, and of the key role played by sales managers in companies and agro-food organizations.
  • Evaluates marketing programmes using the methods and procedures enabling the establishment of a precise diagnosis of the situation in each case, and can provide guidance to improve the outputs and efficiency of programmes.



  • Strategic marketing
    • The marketing planning process
    • SWOT analysis
    • Setting objectives and strategy development
  • Innovation of the food industry
    • Innovation processes in agro-food firms
    • Factors of success in the development of new products
    • Business organization for innovation
  • Sales organization
    • Sales management
    • Motivation of the sales force
    • Setting of objectives and motivation for the members of the sales force
  • Control of the marketing programme
    • Marketing audits
    • Characteristics of the marketing control system
    • Analysis of the marketing plan


Learning activities

Learning activity 1: Lectures combined with illustrative examples
ECTS: 2.9
Hours: 73
Percentage of contact: 47%

Learning activity 2: Work in groups
(A) Strategic marketing
Students work in groups with a case study provided by the lecturer of a well-known agro-food enterprise. Each group has to make a critical analysis of the enterprise strategies concerning globalization, competitive advantages, country and region of origin effect and ethical food chain, following a list of specific issues to be taken into consideration when performing the analysis. Each group prepares a brief report with the results. Results are discussed with the lecturer and the other groups in a joint session.
(B) Food industry innovation
Students work in groups with information provided by the lecturer on market segmentation and a possible scenario for a new product launch. Students have to think about what kind of product might be developed, the consumer target group, what type of other innovations may be needed to support the product innovation, who they might need on the innovation team at various stages of the project, and internal and external factors that could influence success. Each group prepares a very brief report with their plans and these are commented with the lecturer and the other groups, contrasting the different approach followed by each group.
(C) Sales organization
Each group chooses a product and has to act as a sales team, developing a brand and a vision of the branded product and targeting its marketing as well as developing a sales forecast, while determining at the same time the competences, goals and strategies of the sales team for business success. Each group prepares brief reports for each part of the exercise that are presented and discussed with the lecturer and the other groups.
(D) Sales organization
Each group, formed according to the primary style of their members, will work on sales team dynamics issues to optimize the team results (understanding individual motivations, leading of the team and the members, motivating the members in different stages). Each group prepares brief reports for each part of the exercise that are presented and discussed with the lecturer and the other groups.
ECTS: 0.8
Hours: 20 (A: 6, B: 5, C: 7, D: 2)
Percentage of contact: 52% (A: 33%, B: 40%, C: 64%, D: 100%)

Learning activity 3: Solving of exercises and problems
(A) Sales organization
Linked to the Group work D exercises, students carry out exercises individually on: (i) characterization and motivation of team members; and (ii) characterization of an effective sales manager. Students prepare brief reports for each exercise individually. In the case of exercise (i) the report results are discussed with the lecturer and the rest of students.
(B) Marketing audit
Guided by the lecturer, students work individually carrying out a marketing diagnosis of a cheese industry, through the analysis of marketing costs and benefits, and proposing the corrective actions concerning commercial functions and distribution channels. The exercise concludes with a general discussion on the diagnosis and proposed actions.
ECTS: 0.2
Hours: 5 (A: 2, B: 3)
Percentage of contact: 100% (A: 100%, B: 100%)

Learning activity 4: Case study based on the analysis of the marketing strategies of a winery to increase either their sales in the domestic market or gain international 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 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: 64% of the final score of the Unit (Strategic marketing: 12%, Industry innovation: 14%, Sales organization: 18%, Marketing audit: 20%)

Assessment system 2: Global assessment by the lecturers of the group works. Assessments are based on the reports and the discussion of the results.
(A) The quality of the analysis and the participation in the discussion will be assessed.
The score is the same for all group members.
(B) The understanding of the methodology, the pertinence of the plan and the suitability of the answers to the questions posed in the discussion will be assessed.
The score is the same for all group members.
(C) The understanding of the methodology, the quality of the reports and the pertinence of the answers to the questions posed in the discussion will be assessed. Under the supervision of the lecturer, one of the exercises will be self-assessed by the components of each group, and another will be assessed by the whole class.
The score is the same for all group members.
(D) The understanding of the methodology, the quality of the reports and the individual participation in the discussion will be assessed. Under the supervision of the lecturer, one of the exercises will be assessed by the whole class.
The score is individual and made up of two scores: 50% corresponds to the score assigned to the group in which the student participates, and 50% corresponds to the student contribution to the discussion.
Weighting: 30% of the final score of the Unit (A: 8%, B: 6%, C: 11.2%, D: 4.8%)

Assessment system 3: Individual assessment by the lecturer tutoring the exercises on “Sales organization”.
(A i) The assessment is based on the quality of the reports and the individual contribution to the discussion.
(A ii) The assessment is based on the quality of the individual reports.
Weighting: 6% of the final score of the Unit

Assessment system 4: Direct assessment by the lecturer presenting the case study. The marking is not numerical but a “pass” or “fail”. Active participation will be assessed.
Weighting: -



Stuart CHALLINOR, Newcastle Univ. (United Kingdom)
Georges GIRAUD, AgroSup Dijon (France)
Maeve HENCHION, Ashtown Food Research Centre-TEAGASC, Dublin (Ireland)
Marilyn HOLSCHUH-LEISURE, Free Range Thinkers, Indianapolis (United States)