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Course Description

This course explores the structure and functioning of the agri-food sector beyond the farm gate, including food processing, distribution and retailing, and the implications for the functioning of food markets in terms of the price, quality and safety of food. The focus of the course is on the agri-food sector globally, such that it explores the structure and functioning of the agri-food sector in different geographical locations, at different levels of economic development, etc. The course examines the behaviour of actors within the food sector and the role of policies at the regional, national and international levels.

This course is part of the online Master of Dairy Technology Management (MDTM) program from the Departments of Food Science and Food, Agricultural, and Resource Economics (FARE). It is offered as a stand-alone course with admission to the full program not required.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, the learner should be able to:

  1. Analyze the structure and organization of the food sector and how this changes over time and differs geographically according to the level of economic development and other factors;
  2. Reflect critically on the role of government policy in influencing the structure, organization and performance of the food sector, for example in terms of the level of food prices, food safety, quality, etc.;
  3. Undertake in-depth analysis of case studies of the structure, organization and performance of the food sector in diverse contexts;
  4. Reflect critically on local, national and global interrelationships and interdependencies within the food sector and the implications for the sector's performance and the role of government policy; and
  5. Communicate the results of analysis of the food sector in diverse contexts through written and oral forms.

Course Topics

  • The uniqueness of food markets
  • Evolution of the food sector during economic development
  • Structure of the food sector and processes of consolidation
  • Food clusters and cooperatives
  • Globalization and food markets
  • Global value chains
  • Demand for food
  • Models and methods in the analysis of food businesses and sectors
  • Managing food safety: The interface between government and food businesses
  • The future of the food sector

Additional Requirements

Pre-requisite(s): An undergraduate degree or equivalent education/qualification


Assessment Item Weight Learning Outcomes
Weekly video reflections 30% 1,2,4,5
Food cluster and cooperative case studies 15% 2,3,5
Global value chain case studies 15% 2,3,4,5
Food safety case studies 15% 2,3,4,5
Future of the food sector paper 25% 1,2,4,5
Total 100% 1,2,3,4 and 5



Additional Technical Requirements

This course will use the following:

  • Microsoft Teams as a video communication tool for virtual office hours.
  • Video Assignments is a tool that facilitates the creation and use of student-created videos in course activities and assessments.

Please view the Technical Considerations for each.

Technical Requirements

You are responsible for ensuring that your computer system meets the necessary system requirements. Use the browser check tool to ensure your browser settings are compatible and up to date (results will be displayed in a new browser window).

*Course details are subject to change.

Enrol Now - Select a section to enrol in
Section Title
International Food Industry and Policy Analysis
September 05, 2024 to November 29, 2024
Contact Hours
Delivery Options
Course Fee(s)
Domestic Tuition (0.5 units) $2,500.00 Click here to get more information
International Tuition (0.5 units) $3,857.00 Click here to get more information
Available for Credit
0.5 units
Reading List / Textbook
You may purchase your course textbook, or other required/supplementary reading and learning materials, from the University of Guelph Bookstore or the Guelph Campus Co-op Bookstore, or from another third-party seller.
Section Notes
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