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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 (24 lectures, 28 practicals)
Personal work hours: 98
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 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 and group work.
Lecturers deliver the courses in English or in French. Simultaneous interpretation into Spanish is provided. The documents supplied by the lecturers may be written in English or French.


Presentation of the Unit and context within the syllabus

This Unit begins with an overview of international markets, to cover immediately afterwards the determinants of export competitiveness, strategies for export marketing, organising firms for foreign sales and public issues. Motivation for firms to seek foreign sales, factors affecting stability of firm share of import markets and determinants of international comparatives advantage are also presented. Inter- and intra-industry trade is thoroughly analysed. It provides a basis to present the determinants of international competitiveness, protocols and conventional practices, international marketing strategies and techniques, organization of multinational marketing enterprises and related public policy issues. Finally, the Unit aims to apply all the information and knowledge put together during the Course. The Galbraithian scenario of food distribution is applied to all cases. A diversity of cases are presented covering different industries, mostly multinationals but also of medium size firms. The students have to work in groups and present the cases that are discussed with the rest of the class. Likewise students work in groups with a simulation software to define best strategies for a firm to enlarge benefit and gain market share over its competitors.



Specific competences

  • 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.
  • SC8 Analysing consumer behaviour and carrying out market research studies selecting the most appropriate methodologies according to the specific objectives of research.
  • SC9 Establishing relevant product policies and pricing strategies, planning and developing advertising campaigns, and determining good distribution schemes to obtain competitive advantages.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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:

  • Knows the factors determining export competitiveness, and is able to establish strategies for export and for foreign sales organization, considering policies and regulations operating in the international market of agricultural commodities.
  • Analyses the characteristics particular to the international marketing of branded agro-food products, and knows how to design marketing strategies competitive in international markets for national or multinational companies.
  • Has gained further insights, by means of case studies, into the factors for success or failure of multinational and medium-sized companies in the food sector.
  • Has experience, through business simulation games, in the efficiency of different marketing strategies under particular conditions and the results concerning competiveness and business development.



  • Overview of international agricultural commodity markets
  • Determining factors of competitiveness in agricultural commodity exports
  • Marketing strategies for exports of agricultural commodities
  • Main trends in the international marketing of branded products
  • Business and marketing perspectives for food products
  • Strategies in international food marketing
  • Case studies of firms
  • Simulation of markets and business strategies


Learning activities

Learning activity 1: Lectures combined with illustrative examples
ECTS: 3.8
Hours: 94
Percentage of contact: 26%

Learning activity 2: Work in groups
(A) Multinational firm/industry case studies
Students work in six groups, each one analyzing the case of a different enterprise. Each case represents a different marketing strategy. The enterprises are multinationals or medium-sized and have diverse characteristics, objectives and problems. Students work on the basis of selected readings provided by the lecturers and search for additional information. The work is divided in two stages. In the first stage the groups carry out a preliminary analysis and presentation of results. During the second stage they must improve the analysis and the presentation according to the lecturers’ comments, additional readings and new analysis guidelines, to better focus their answers on the issues dealt with in each case study. At the beginning of each stage, the lecturers develop a case analysis and presentation, as an example to be followed by the students when planning and developing their own cases. Each presentation is carried out with the lecturers and the other groups, and all members of the group must participate in the presentation. As a complement to the practical, students are taught how to perform a good presentation (both in form and content), and they receive guidelines to incorporate personal response systems (PRS) to improve the interactivity with the audience. After each presentation there is an open discussion, followed by a meeting between each group and the lecturers to receive comments and advice.
(B) Business game
Students work in four groups, tutored by the lecturer, each one with data from an enterprise, all the enterprises having similar characteristics. Each group must adopt strategies to gain market share to their competitors and increase its benefits. Then, they simulate the results of the adopted strategies using specific software. Work is carried out in three stages, each one representing the yearly enterprise results. According to these results, they have to reformulate the strategy for the following year. At the end of each stage they present the results to the lecturer and the other groups, and all members of the group must participate in the presentation. After each presentation the lecturer asks questions to the members of the group and there is an open discussion with all students.
ECTS: 2.2
Hours: 56 (A: 28, B: 28)
Percentage of contact: 50% (A: 43%, B: 57%)


Assessment method

Assessment system 1: Written exam, composed of questions provided by the 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: 35.8% of the final score of the Unit (International marketing: 19%, Multinational firm/industry case studies I: 9.2%, Multinational firm/industry case studies II: 7.6%, Business game: -)

Assessment system 2: Global assessment by the lecturers of the group works.
(A) The assessment is based on the two presentations and discussions made by each group. The following factors will be assessed: (i) quality of the analysis; (ii) formal quality of the presentation; (iii) use of PRS and audience interest; (iv) relevance of answers to the questions posed; (v) cohesion of the presentations of all members of the group; and (vi) adjustment to the professor’s comments between the first and the second presentations.
The score is the same for all members of the group.
(B) The assessment is based on the presentations and discussions made by each group. The following aspects will be assessed: (i) suitability and results of the strategies adopted; (ii) quality of the presentation; (iii) relevance of answers to the questions posed; (v) cohesion of the presentations of all members of the group; and (vi) adjustment to the time assigned.
The score is the same for all members of the group.
Weighting: 48.6% of the final score of the Unit (A: 25.2%, B: 23.4%)

Assessment system 3: Individual assessment by the lecturer of the group work B. The assessment is based on the quality of the answers to the questions posed to each member of the group.
Weighting: 15.6% of the final score of the Unit



Julie CASWELL, Univ. Massachusetts (United States)
Philippe LE GRUSSE, IAM Montpellier (France)
Marco A. PALMA, Texas A&M Univ., College Station (United States)