Team Project

You are welcome to propose a topic that solves a problem or is important to your industry. Teams of 3-4 (max).  If needed, you may do the project by yourself to address your specific needs (and will be narrowed to address the circumstance).  If an individual wishes to complete this project, please contact me by April 28. 

For the Team Project, your team will complete a written report on an industry of your choice.  The first step will be to decide on a specific industry (or a sub-section of an industry) that you are interested in investigating.  Industry analyses are one of the most common forms of research conducted by companies.  They provide strategic information about the environment in which a company operates and the major forces that affect it.  This report should heavily address the current economic situation, strategy and approach in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic.  

Your team should choose an industry or a sub-section of an industry that is listed in the Mintel Database, IBIS World, or other industry database that is available through Meriam library or is well recognized.  Once you have decided on your industry, you will need to locate relevant industry information.  Please consider the Industry Analysis Guidelines below as a starting point. The maximum number of points available for this project = 150. 

Project Due Date

The Industry Analysis individual contribution should be shared with your team by the final time online.

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Industry Analysis Guidelines

Your industry analysis should include the following information (or should document that the information is not available to the public if that is the case):

1)     CSR

       a) What are the current CSR/ethical challenges to the industry?

          b) How is the industry managing these concerns?

          c) Are there industry standards and, if so, how are they enforced?

          c) Who are the industry pioneers and what measures are they employing?

          d) What concerns do they pose for the industry?

Secondary Considerations:  Choose only those that are most relevant to your industry. 

  1. StructureDoes the industry have a regional, national or international presence?
  • Historical Development (be brief)Is this a mature, established industry or a new, developing industry?
  • Growth Patterns (represent graphically)What is the rate of growth in the industry?Is it cyclical, seasonal or steady?
  • Present TrendsWhat trends are currently present in the industry?What is the near-term forecast (1-3 years) for new trends?
  • Competitive Environment (be brief)Who are the major competitors in the industry?
  • Customer CharacteristicsWhat kinds of customers are targeted? What advertising, marketing and selling strategies are used?
  • Environmental Factors How do political, regulatory and/or legal factors affect the industry?What important technological factors affect the industry?How do social and demographic trends affect the industry?

Written Report Guidelines

Your written report should provide an analysis of your industry.  The length and topics of the paper will depend somewhat on the industry you choose, but it should be limited to 5 pages of text (not including exhibits, tables etc – 7 page total limit).  You should write the report in a manner that is appropriate for an audience in the upper management levels of a company.  Please refer to Purdue Owl or other style manual for guidelines on writing this type of report. 

Here are some additional points to consider:

  • Instead of an executive summary, the report should start with a tweet (280 characters) that represents and condenses key findings.
  • You should present some of your information in visual form (tables, graphs etc.).  Be sure to label all visuals and reference them appropriately.  Embed the material into your report to help clarify information. 
  • You will need to use at least 4 references (each) in addition to the material that is available from the Mintel database.  Your sources should be no more than 5 years old (in terms of publication dates), preferably less. The exception is if the material is considered industry standard material(s), research or history.
  • You will need to provide a reference page using APA citation format.  Be sure to provide complete citations in the form of in text citations and in the use of a reference list.  Failure to do this is considered plagiarism, which is not an acceptable practice.
  • The report should be well organized and professional in presentation.  Pay special attention to proof-reading the final version since grammar, spelling, typographical errors etc. will all be important factors in the evaluation of your written work.  The report should sound as if just one author wrote it (i.e., it should have only one “voice”) even though multiple authors contributed to the final document.  Remember that in order to communicate your content persuasively, you need to present it in a polished, professionally written document.
  • Note.  While rarely necessary, I reserve the right to provide different scores to team members. 

Assignment Adopted from Industry Analysis by Lauren Wright, PhD.

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Agricultural Business Industry

Growth Patterns and Environmental Factors

Growth Patterns

              Other than commercialization and economic development, other factors have contributed to the growth of the agribusiness sector. These factors include but are not limited to rising consumer demand, new technology, and new distribution methods. Agribusiness is four times bigger than it was two decades ago. Nevertheless, since agribusiness is directly connected to agricultural production, the growth has slowed due to economic turmoil and decreased production. There is fear that the world demand for agricultural products will continue rising while the production stagnates or dips. From a global view, the agribusiness sector’s average growth rate stands at approximately 1.5 percent, falling from 2.2 percent (Fao.org).  The growth rate is slow in developing countries. The agribusiness industry’s average growth rate in the United States stands at 0.1 percent (IBISWorld .n.d.). The growth rate is cyclical because research shows that agricultural production might grow to offset the demand so long as the key drivers of production are addressed.  The poverty index is projected to decrease, thus increasing the demand for agricultural products. The industry accounts for 40% of employment around the globe (Hodes, 2019).

Source; Fao.org

Environmental Factors

            Politics has played a major role in shaping and quivering the agribusiness sector. For example, South Africa lacks the political wisdom to prioritize agribusiness as a major revenue source (Khoza et al., 2019). Political instability slows the transformation of the industry. Trade wars have majorly affected the international trade of agricultural products.  For instance, the United States enacted laws that would increase the rate of tax on imports.

As a result, the rate of production has increased. Despite protecting local agribusiness, other key contributors scaled down while others have closed down businesses. Bureaucracy in the industry has resulted from increased food certification and agricultural products regulations, thus slowing business (Lencucha et al., 2020).

           Technology has greatly shaped agribusiness. Innovations in producing fertilizers, seeds, and pesticides have decreased costs of production. Agribusiness is more reshaped than it was decades ago. Automated and hybrid systems have streamlined the agribusiness supply chain. Global positioning system biotechnological techniques and site-specific farming has brought about efficiency and precision in the industry.  It is easier and quicker to source and distribute agricultural products and equipment through hybrid systems.

              Social and demographic trends have influenced agribusiness. Society traditions and culture affect consumer behavior. Some industry players are reluctant to embrace new technologies or buy new products and agricultural equipment that they are not accustomed to (Khoza et al., 2019). The level of education and language barrier affects agribusiness, different languages, and low literacy level hinders ways of doing business. Age, wellbeing, and population affect the sector. High populations greatly spur agribusiness growth when a country is occupied by productive and healthy individuals, the selling and acquisition of agricultural products blossoms.

References

Hodes, D. (2019). Agribusiness Sector Continues Strong Growth. Business Xpansion Journal.http://bxjmag.com/agribusiness-sector-continues-strong-growth/

IBISWorld. Industry Market Research, Reports, and Statistics. Ibisworld.com. https://www.ibisworld.com/united-states/market-research-reports/agribusiness-industry/.

Khoza, T. M., Senyolo, G. M., Mmbengwa, V. M., Soundy, P., & Sinnett, D. (2019). Socio-economic factors influencing smallholder farmers’ decision to participate in agro-processing industry in Gauteng province, South Africa. Cogent Social Sciences5(1), 1664193. https://doi.org/10.1080/23311886.2019.1664193

Lencucha, R., Pal, N. E., Appau, A., Thow, A. M., & Drope, J. (2020). Government policy and agricultural production: a scoping review to inform research and policy on healthy agricultural commodities. Globalization and health16(1), 11. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12992-020-0542-2

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). World agriculture: towards 2015/2030. Fao.org. http://www.fao.org/3/y3557e/y3557e03.htm.