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

Cases: Strategic challenges and solutions in agro and food companies
The Danish agro and food industry
European agro and food systems and trends

Visits to agro and food companies and guest speakers from agro and 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 the economic and market conditions 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.

An understanding of the business trends in the food industry and the food cluster and to give inspiration to further studies.

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 any country
  • Describe and analyze issues pertaining in the agri-food industry such as mergers, competitiveness, vertical linkages and globalization
  • 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 any country
  • 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. Text books

b. Case book

c. Slides
d. Journal articles
e. Industry reports



Academic qualifications equivalent to a BSc degree is recommended.

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

Feedback by final exam (In addition to the grade)

Students present their project report, and questions, comments and feed back will be given by teacher and internal censor

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
All aids allowed


The University will make computers available to students taking on-site exams at ITX. 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 uploaded through Digital Exam.

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


Course number
7,5 ECTS
Programme level
Full Degree Master

1 block

Block 1
No limit
Study Board of Natural Resources, Environment and Animal Science
Contracting department
  • Department of Food and Resource Economics
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Science
Course Coordinator
  • Henning Otte Hansen   (3-787f78507976827f3e7b853e747b)

Henning Otte Hansen, Mobil: 30 61 22 87

Saved on the 27-08-2021

Are you BA- or KA-student?

Are you bachelor- or kandidat-student, then find the course in the course catalog for students:

Courseinformation of students