Blog post prepared by James Mumford, Edward Fowler and Giancarlo Cassinelli (current Master of Agribusiness students)
Centre for Global Food and Resources (GFAR) Master of Agribusiness (MAB) students Edward Fowler, Giancarlo Cassinelli and James Mumford recently travelled to Argentina to participate in the case study competition of the 2018 International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IFAMA) annual conference.
The 5-day event started with the academic symposium held at Austral University in Pilar, Argentina, on Saturday 23rd June. Sunday was the preliminary round of the case study competition with the final round held on Monday. Monday through to Wednesday was the world forum held in Buenos Aires with a concluding dinner and awards ceremony held on Wednesday night.
This year’s case study was titled “Food Chain Partnership: Developing neglected and underutilised species through Shared Value Initiatives” and focused on the Bambara Groundnut Project in Indonesia – a real life collaborative partnership between Bayer and NGO Plant Breeders Without Borders. The paper explored the concepts of shared value and student teams were instructed to present a 15-minute presentation on the value chain and why Bayer should partner with the NGO. Although we did not proceed to the final round, it was an invaluable experience competing on the world stage, putting into practice what we have learned through our Master’s program as well as crucial skills such as critical thinking and presentation ability. A highlight was meeting 22 other student teams from around the world.
The symposium covered broad topics such as value chain analysis, development agriculture, sustainability, food waste and food security, marketing and consumer preferences, policy and trade. The theme of the World Forum was Sustainable Food Security 2050: Disruptive Innovations – Better Business, Management, Science and Government. A highlight was hearing from local agribusinesses – YPF Agro and Los Grobo, about issues facing the Argentine producer. One particular session on the future of meat was a unique insight into future innovations. Ecommerce was also an underlying theme, which will be the topic of the IFAMA conference in Guangzhou, China next year.
With the conference concluding on the Wednesday, Thursday and Friday were spent as tourists checking out downtown Buenos Aires, before returning to Adelaide Friday evening. We are very thankful for GFAR in supporting us with this initiative and to the Centre’s staff who assisted in our preparation for the competition.