AERD40040 Food and Agribusiness Strategy

Academic Year 2022/2023

This module is concerned with the study of the economic principles of business firm growth and development and their application with special reference to food and agribusiness firms. It includes the use of the principles of economies of scale, scope and experience as explanatory bases for horizontal expansion of existing activities. It also considers the principles of vertical integration and the determinants of the vertical boundaries of firms: including transaction costs and property rights approaches. Alternative vertical co-ordination strategies are also considered ranging from spot market to vertical ownership including co-operatives. Concepts of competitive advantage, value creation and of sustaining competitive advantage are also considered. Throughout the course practical examples are drawn from Irish and international agribusinesses.

Show/hide contentOpenClose All

Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this module students should be able to:
Discuss the main economic principles of firm growth and development
Apply theories of economies of scale, scope and experience to explain the horizontal expansion strategies of firms in the Irish and international food system
Cite supporting examples from readings and cases relating to firms and industry sectors studied
Describe the continuum of vertical co-ordination strategies encountered in the international food chain
Discuss the merits of alternative vertical integration structures in the food supply chain, including the important role of co-operatives.
Cite examples of alternative food industry vertical coordination strategies and structures
Critically discuss issues and strategies in building and sustaining competitive advantage and the application of these in the food supply industry.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
The approach to teaching is a mixture of active/task-based learning; peer and group work; lectures and online pre-recorded lectures; critical writing/readings; reflective learning, problem-based learning; case-based learning; student presentations. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Recommendations:

This is a level 4 module and it is recommended for students who have achieved a good standard in business management modules up to at least level 2

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Examination: Written Exam 1 hour End of Trimester Exam No Graded No


Group Project: Business Strategy Case Study Project Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No


Multiple Choice Questionnaire: In-class test Unspecified n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Remediation Type Remediation Timing
In-Module Resit Prior to relevant Programme Exam Board
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Within 20 days of completion Feedback on final exam will be provided by appointment with lecturer.

Name Role
Dr Edel Kelly Lecturer / Co-Lecturer