Vol. 2 No. 1-2 (2008)

Published October 31, 2008

Applied Studies in Agribusiness and Commerce is the official
periodical of the International MBA Network in Agribusiness
and Commerce for the discussion and dissemination of
applied research in agricultural economics, agribusiness and
commerce done within the International MBA Network.
Universities belonging to International MBA Network
expose students to the latest theoretical and applied
knowledge about international politics, economics,
sociology and law. Participants develop management skills
grounded in finance, organizational behaviour, negotiation
skills, project management, and strategy. Prospective
managers are given the opportunity to directly apply these
skills in relevant professional settings. Managers must be
able to use business management knowledge and skills
appropriate to the distinctive setting of their institutions.
To fulfil the expectations of both participants and
prospective employers, the International MBA Network in
Agribusiness and Commerce has worked intensively with
internationally renowned Universities, business executives,
and MBA students to design and improve multidisciplinary
curriculum and have also developed Applied Studies in
Agribusiness and Commerce to address a major need of
training professionals and pursue careers of students in the
institutions and companies that work with the MBA Network.
Applied Studies publishes high quality contributions on
topics related to Agribusiness and Commerce and provides
managers, researchers and teachers with a forum, where they
can publish and acquire research results, case studies and
reviews, which are important to the global food chain.
Submitted manuscripts should have a relationship to the
economics of agriculture, natural resources, environment, or
rural development. Papers should have a practical
orientation and demonstrate innovation in analysis,
methods, or application. Topic areas include production
economics and farm management, agricultural policy,
agricultural environmental issues, regional planning and
rural development, methodology, marketing of agricultural
and food products, international trade and development.
Research on a significant economic component, analyses of
problems connected to research, extension, and teaching of
the International MBA Network in Agribusiness and
Commerce are also encouraged.
Applied Studies publishes practical research and case
studies, as well as papers discussing policy issues. Shorter
features include book reviews and comments on previously
published articles. In addition, the journal publishes the
Annual report of the International MBA Network in
Agribusiness and Commerce enabling the members of
International MBA Network to have immediate access to the
Editors of Applied Studies in Agribusiness and
Commerce want to make theory and practice come together
and feel privileged to have access to them. The Editors hope
Applied Studies will be a forum to evaluate the impact of life
sciences and modern technology on business strategies in the
food chain. Applied Studies will exchange views, develop
strategies and evaluate the impact of changes taking place
throughout the integrated food chain, and provide an
opportunity to establish priorities in the development and
direction of the global food system.
Editors of Applied Studies in Agribusiness and
Commerce would recommend this journal to anyone who
wants to better understand the agricultural economy and
international trade. They want to access information on food
quality, food production and manufacturing practices.
Editors of Applied Studies in Agribusiness and Commerce
discuss important issues of food and agribusiness and
improve communication with colleagues in food and
agribusiness programs throughout Europe.



  • Towards innovative environmental management in the Agro-food Industry

    This article focuses on the problem: what external (stakeholder) and (internal structural/organizational) factors drive companies in the food- and agribusiness towards innovative environmental management? Innovative companies are those considered to have adopted a supply chain perspective, instead of a focus on the single business unit. We propose that innovativeness is associated with stakeholder wishes (the government, the public environmental policy being a major influential factor), in combination with structural characteristics of the firm (like R&D-efforts, culture and managerial competences). We surveyed 492 companies in 2002, to get insight into the causes of innovativeness in the Dutch agri-food sector, and supplemented this data by means of a similar questionnaire in 2005. Structural equation modeling and correlation analysis were applied. The research provided evidence that companies are restricted by, and therefore not comfortable with, public environmental policies, which seem to obstruct innovativeness rather than stimulate it. Firms that(1) have enough internal (physical, financial, social)resourcestoinnovate, and (2) are more embedded in a web of (commercial) stakeholder wishes, prove to be more innovative. Suggestions are made to shift the corporate and public policies towards a supply chain-oriented approach by granting benefits for vertical cooperation in supply-chains.

  • Knowledge transfer: a case study approach

    The article builds on the growing importance of knowledge as a strategic resource for maintaining the competitive advantage of a business. We illustrate one of the initiatives contributing to effective knowledge transfer by describing a case study approach which suggests how universities might assist in disseminating knowledge and enhancing industry competitiveness.The case study approach is apparently an effective way to share best practices, and with the use of appropriate ICT tools, it provides for an enormous diffusion of codified (explicit) knowledge in the industry.The example in the focus of this article describes aVirtual Portal designed as a single-point access to information and tools (case studies, decision models and software), with the emphasis on case studies (their selection, coding and use).

  • The value of quality

    The significance of quality production and quality improvement is widely acknowledged by many but few specify what should be improved and what quality should be produced. The reason may be that there are different quality categories in the process of the value chain. Moreover, the issue of quality costs, i.e. economically optimal quality has not yet been explored yet. The present study raises problems in the pigmeat verticum, but similar studies are needed in other animal husbandry sectors as well. It is reasonable to treat the quality categories of animal products in a complex way, as this allows the full satisfaction of consumer expectations at the certain stages of the value chain and solvent demand as well.

  • Agricultural outsourcing: A comparison between the Netherlands and Japan

    Outsourcing may well be a tool for increasing the efficiency of Japanese agriculture. However, outsourcing is not frequently used by Japanese farmers in their day-to-day management. This has resulted in a weakly developed market for agricultural contracting services. In order to take a closer look at the reasons for making use of outsourcing, a comparative study was carried out between the agricultural contracting sector in Japan and that in the Netherlands, where agricultural outsourcing is a regular practice. In the Netherlands, especially small, diversified farms that lack sufficient labour tend to outsource agricultural work; in Japan, the situation is far less clear. Cultural factors possibly play an important role.

  • Competitiveness of Polish regional Agro-clusters

    The present paper concerns the analysis and evaluation of the performance of regional agro-clusters in Poland and also the examination of the significant basic factors which have influence on it. The objective of the paper is both to rank the 16 Polish regions according to their competitive position in the agrocomplex and to present their economic and social position, show differences and regional contrasts. Also, we compare the outcomes with the overall Polish regional competitive index, which was created in accordance with the Huggins Institute approach.

  • Historic landmarks in the development of Agricultural Land Market in Poland after the year 1989

    For a number of decades in the second half of the XXth century, agricultural land has been divided in Poland between three sectors: family, state owned and cooperative farms, with a dominating share of private, individual farmers in land use. As a result, ownership structure of agricultural land in Poland is quite unique among the former socialist Central and East European countries. Until the year1989, when the transformation to a market economy was initiated, the land market in Poland was almost non-existent. The State Land Fund(SLF), an institution created in 1944 was fordecades a substitute to land market. Originally, the Fund was responsible for the implementation of the land reform. After nationalization or confiscation of real estates, state farms have been established on a larger part of agricultural land under Fund’s management. Therest has been divided between formerfarm workers and small farmers owing less than 5 hectares of land.

  • Efficiency evaluation of service marketing in a Hungarian Telecommunication Company

    It is unquestionable that marketing is an essential promotor of the economy and commerce. With its diverse tools, it can influence consumers and also regulate supply by measuring needs and demands (Bauer-Berács, 1998). Although the roots of marketing go back centuries, it is interesting that the raison d’être of service marketing was disputed even in the 1960s and 1970s. However, by today it has developed into a substantive specialty. In this study, the inquiry service and the implemented marketing tools of a leading Hungarian telecommunications company were studied for four years. (The data was provided by the communication manager of the company. Being bound to secrecy, I will not disclose the name  of the company or the inquiry service.)

  • An analysis of the national strategies for sustainable development with special emphasis on the issues of Agriculture and Rural development

    In this paper which is based on my dissertation I carried out a comprehensive analysis of the national strategies for sustainable development prepared by the EU and its member states. I paid special attention to agricultural and rural development issues discussed in the strategies. According to my hypothesis the sets of objectives defined in accordance with the principles of sustainable development provide a firm basis for the objectives of the ongoing reforms of the European Union’s CommonAgricultural Policy. Due to the complexity of the topic I applied an interdisciplinary approach in my research.

  • Analysis of economic issues relating to the dairy sector, with emphasis on price transmission

    The dramatic decline in consumption after 1990 was an important problem during the analysis of the sector. Even today, consumption is still below the degree that was before the political change, and significantly lags behind the EU level.The importance of this topic is emphasized by the fact that surplus milk could be marketed through the increased domestic consumption; this would create a more stable and calculable situation for farmers. Therefore, I considered it important to reveal what factors and by what shares influence the consumption of milk and dairy products. The relationship, time series and cross-sectional analysis based on national and international databases demonstrate the relationship between the consumption of milk and dairy products and the other determining factors of consumption in Hungary and in the EU-25 through diagrams. I draw the conclusion that there is a medium correlation between the development of the economy, the higher income level and the consumption of milk and dairy products. Just before our EU accession, the dairy sector was one of the most critical industries of Hungarian agriculture, which is why I chose this for my analysis. I regard as a new scientific result the econometric analysis of the asymmetric market conditions in the price transmission approach within our dairy sector between 1995 and 2003. I confirmed and quantified that the market is under an oligopoly and defined the direction of price adjustment. Furthermore, I regard as a new result in the price transmission analysis (also published in the article published with Dr. József Tóth), that the three possible dimensions (elasticity, a symmetry relations,lag) are analysed simultaneously.Therefore,a more sophisticated picture is given on price transmission. The theoretical advantages and disadvantages are verified by an example of a vertical coordination based on the horizontal cooperation in the dairy sector (Alföldi Tej Ltd).

  • Estimating the economic potential of rural microregions

    Experts have been involved in the problems of determining microregions in Hungary since their establishment. In Hungary, the microregions (NUTS17 IV) were established by top-down method. This system cut through existing economic and cultural connections. The villages set up their own bottom-up microregions, which have tighter connections than the official regions. In my article, I estimate the economic potential of two regions, the regions Erdôspuszta (Hungary) and Hohenlohe (Germany), after analyzing the relevant literature on determining economic potential. Projects realized by enterprises and civil organizations have strategic significance in the economies of settlements, and it is true that their developers are not members of the formal management of the settlement. The local governments, however, should conduct realization and topdown of projects, and they have to have an image of the future and strategic plans. The present Hungarian practice, which appears in supply oriented applications, is not expedient over the long-run.The projects of settlements are run parallel to each other; they therefore fail to reach any synergic effect. The aim is harmonizing and building projects onto each other.

  • Certain elements of population retaining ability and the ability to economically provide for a population of the countryside

    According to the data of population density, most of Hungary’s territory has rural features. Achieving EU supports in order to focus on developing the most underdeveloped communities, and in order to lessen the differences between communities, to establish priorities and to determine the rank of rural communities based on their development potential is necessary.The need of measurability arises because of comparison and classification.A possible target area is an analysis of population retaining ability and the ability to economically provide for a population of rural areas.

  • Liquid bio-fuels in Hungary: effects and contradictions

    The increase of living standard requires ever more energy, despite energy saving measures. Domestic growth was 100 PJ between 2000 and 2006, and 77% of the total utilization was importe (Hungarian Central Statistical Office, 2008).Sustainability was endangered not only in our energy and commerce policy. Our domestic natural conditions are suitable for plant production; however, the stagnation of the domestic population and decreasing livestock numbers restrict in land marketing. Therefore, significant surpluses from year to year had to be stored and sold abroad, and the fact that the interventional purchase of corn and the expected stringent new EU regulation of the sugar beet sector, make the strategic significance of these branches uncertain. The difficult marketing opportunities make the better utilization of our opportunities in producing liquid bio-fuels possible from marketing aspects, while environmental issues and realizing the EU directions enforce to do so in a longer term. Over the short term, agricultural and competitive aspects will determine its spread, which cause different effects in Europe in comparison with the developing countries. According to Nábrádi-Ficzeréné Nagymihály, 2008, one of the breaking points of Hungarian agriculture lies in the utilization of alternative energy sources. During the past period, many contradictory opinions came forward relating to economies, agricultural effects, food risks as well as the energetic and environmental efficiency of bio-fuels. One thing is certain: these fuels are already used today and their significance has been increasing. Although due to technological development, spread of new products and processes (cellulose-based bioethanol, bioethanol, biogas, hydrogen, biomethane) will obviously have to be expected in the future, at present biodiesel and bioethanol are determent among bio-fuels, thus I deal with these as well as their energetic and agricultural effects in my study.

  • Internationalization development of tertiary education system in the Republic of Croatia

    This paper forms a part of Executive MBA Training in Agribusiness and Commerce which has been supported, developed and carried out in frame of the Tempus project AHEAD, CD JEP 19009–2004. Understanding of business and management with all components related (from economic principles, marketing, accounting to organisational behaviour, strategic development and thinking etc.) and especially international focus on all this areas initiated the idea of this paper. Clear idea of strategic management from formulation, implementation and evaluation, as well as how important analyses are to develop any kind of good business or development plan (as one of the learning outcomes on MBA training) are present throughout the whole paper. Introduction to internationalization development of tertiary education system is given thru PEST analysis followed by analysis of whole tertiary education in Croatia, identifying major issues for internationalization of tertiary education, analysing them and suggesting solutions to develop it in right direction.

  • Police organization in the Republic of Croatia – problems in decision making

    During the last few years of my police work I had a chance to speak and share opinion with my work associates about the police system in Croatia. My colleagues sometimes shared my opinion and sometimes they did not about the quality of police organization. Everyone’s conclusion was that some sort of change in the police organization has to be made; organization of the police must follow and embrace modern standards in organization and conduct. Almost each person had the same opinion about police management and decision making. Their opinion was that management is not efficient; decision making is based on chain of command and not on finding good solutions; members of the management team do not have education or creativity to be qualified managers; form is more important than the quality of work.

  • Investment analysis of plum brandy production – methodology approach

    The major prerequisite of successful entrepreneurship venture is quality of decision-making process. Decision in investment is the most important financial decision. It is a part of both long-term business planning process and strategic business definition. Using available investment appraisal methods, entrepreneur should make positive or negative investment decision. Within the development of the economic theory and the practice many of methods made decision-making process rational and gave the scientific and practical base for successful project evaluation.

  • Agribusiness higher education development – training needs analysis

    With the tremendous changes in political and economic systems of the Republic of Croatia after independence, new challenges have been put to the higher education system as well. The system used to be structured to serve a centrally planed economy with predominantly state ownership. Universities were producing graduates to be employed on statefarms,inagri-foodsystems(socalled„kombinats“),the state owned processing industry or cooperatives. The graduates were specialised in particular branches, such as crop production, vegetable production or livestock husbandry. Therefore, they were not educated to understand the whole system of a company or the agri-food system. In one word, they were not prepared to run firms as managers, although they were highly educated. Small and medium size entrepreneurs in agri-food business have been rather an exception than a rule, and prior to the transition there was not to much experience in managing, financing or marketing for such a firms. 

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