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2021/2022  BA-BHAAV6098U  CANCELED Food security challenges and the global food supply chain

English Title
CANCELED Food security challenges and the global food supply chain

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Bachelor
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Spring
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Max. participants 50
Study board
Study Board for BSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Tine Walravens - Department of International Economics, Goverment and Business (EGB)
  • Toshimitsu Ueta - Department of International Economics, Goverment and Business (EGB)
Main academic disciplines
  • Globalisation and international business
  • International political economy
  • Supply chain management and logistics
Teaching methods
  • Blended learning
Last updated on 23-09-2021

Relevant links

Learning objectives

In order to obtain the grade 12, students should be able to
  • Showcase a deep understanding of the global food supply chain from farm to fork
  • Demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the concept of food security and its global and local challenges and implications
  • Explain how different factors of the globalization process have affected the food supply chain, causing economic, environmental, and social consequences
  • Apply key notions of international business, political economy, and supply chain management to analyze complexities of the global food supply chain today
  • Identify the challenges MNCs are faced with in the GFSC from a food governance perspective, analyze their root causes and tradeoffs
  • Present initiatives (e.g., MNC strategies, governmental or regulatory interventions, NGO actions, multi-stakeholder initiatives and new ventures) addressing these challenges in the global food supply chain and discuss their strength and weakness
Food security challenges and the global food supply chain:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Size of written product Max. 10 pages
Assignment type Written assignment
Duration 48 hours to prepare
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Summer
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
If the student fails the ordinary exam the course coordinator chooses whether the student will have to hand in a revised product for the re-take or a new project.
Description of the exam procedure

The students are required to hand in an individual take-home project exam (maximum 10 pages). The coordinators provide guiding questions to be answered in the project. Access to library sources and to individual computer is required. There will be no oral examination.

Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

As the Covid-19 crisis unfolded in 2020, images of empty supermarket shelves across the world highlighted disruptions in domestic and international food supply chains. Food security risks and tensions surfaced, impacting the process from field to consumer: movement restrictions affected production workers, consumer demands changed, food production facilities closed, food trade policies shifted, and financial pressure mounted. In order to understand these food system vulnerabilities and food security challenges laid bare by the pandemic, we need to look at contemporary agribusiness and their impact on global agricultural transformation.

Food is one of the basic material needs in daily life, and agriculture our oldest collective activity, remaining at the core of most economies around the world. However, farming is no longer an activity of nostalgic villages and bucolic life. Agribusiness has become an increasingly globalized, industrialized and complex sector, dominated and coordinated by MNCs. At the same time, global food security is one of our biggest challenges, as the global food system is impacted by growing populations, economic growth objectives, climate challenges, disruptive technologies and evolving consumer demands. How can we reconcile contemporary food security challenges with agri-business market-based solutions taking into account specific economic interests as well as environmental and other costs?

Drawing on concepts from the fields of international business, political economy, food studies and supply chain management, this course aims to unpack global agribusiness by providing a thorough understanding of the complexities of our dynamic and interconnected food system. After an introduction on the globalization of our food supply chain from a food security perspective, the course is built up along two blocks. PART 1 considers the different stages of the global food supply chain from farm to fork, focusing on key actors such as governments and MNCs. We build up our knowledge along the food supply chain by discussing investments in land and agriculture, seed and fertilizer businesses, the production and processing industries, logistics and retail, as well as the consumer. PART 2 of the course will take an in-dept look at essential topics and current challenges dealing with the governance of our globalized food supply chain, focusing primarily on food security, but also sustainability issues and alternative food production systems, international food governance and regulations, new food technologies, and vulnerabilities in the global food supply chain. As such, the course not only gives an overview of the global food supply chain, but also introduces the related challenges, as well as the myriad stakeholders and their role in our rapidly evolving food systems.

This course is suitable for students who are aspiring to work in or study the fields of agribusiness, state-business relations, food systems or food politics, and transformations of political economy with a global scope.




Description of the teaching methods
Lectures combined with interactive case sessions, group discussions, and group presentation
Feedback during the teaching period
First and foremost, students obtain continuous oral feedback on their readings and work through active participation in class and discussions. Peer-review activities are included to ensure additional feedback on student group presentations. Therefore, class attendance and preparation is strongly encouraged. We offer feedback in response to students’ questions whenever feasible. In classes, we encourage students to ask questions or make comments. On top of that, students can also visit us at ‘office hours’ to discuss issues of their interest. Forming self-study groups to secure peer feedback should be a further help. Discussion forum on Canvas can be used for asynchronous and open interactions. In addition, students are given limited supervision in connection with their exam assignment preparation. Finally, students have the possibility of receiving individual and group feedback during regular consultation hours.
Student workload
lectures 38 hours
exam and exam preparation 48 hours
Course preparation. Includes: readings for lectures and exercises work on activities (homeworks) 122 hours
Last updated on 23-09-2021