The Food Industry: Structure and Economics

Course content

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

theoretical exercises
project work
Guest/business lectures

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


The course is planned so that students from other institutions, faculties and universities can participate.

7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written examination, 2 hours under invigilation
Written assignment
The course has been selected for ITX exam on Peter Bangs Vej.

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.
All aids allowed

The University will make computers and power available to students taking written exams with invigilation in the University’s building on Peter Bangs Vej 36 (ITX). These students are therefore not permitted to bring their own computers, tablets or mobile phones. If textbooks and/or notes are permitted, according to the course description, these must be in paper format or on a USB flash drive.

Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
One internal examiner
Criteria for exam assessment

See learning outcome

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Exam
  • 2
  • Excursions
  • 16
  • Preparation
  • 50
  • Lectures
  • 48
  • Project work
  • 60
  • Guidance
  • 30
  • English
  • 206