Our Research

Domestic and Trade Policy for Agri-Food

Policy that influences agriculture and food reflects the objectives of government for the sector, the needs of stakeholders, and the foreign policy interests of the country.  It is shaped by past roles, events, and institutions that indicate the changing nature and social significance of agriculture and food.  It is heavily influenced by economics ,  but goes well beyond economics into the social, political and environmental.

Through our research we assist clients to understand and strategize in this complex environment.  We help design approaches and mechanisms through which policy can assist or facilitate, or alternatively be redesigned to mitigate unintended consequences.  We also help clients understand how their products, services, or investments may be impacted by agri-food policy, or changes in policy.  Trade agreements define new opportunities and risks- we assist clients by measuring and interpreting prospective gains or losses, and what adjustments they should make, and what domestic policy adjustments they should request, to take advantage of these opportunities and mitigate the risks.

Management Economics

Profitable farms are the basis of a stable and growing food supply chain.  Assessing and improving profitability is a core element of work at Agri-Food Economic Systems. 

We understand agricultural production systems and evaluate the costs and benefits of agricultural technologies and the associated alternative human resource alternatives.  We work with farm income statements and balance sheets to understand and assess the operating and financial situation facing agribusinesses.  We help clients understand the costs and benefits of integrating enterprises in farm and agribusinesses, and the economics of required control structures.  Our analytical simulation and optimization models help our clients locate and understand and address inefficiencies in their operations, and evaluate the net benefits of improvement.

Farm and Food Products Marketing

The transformation of farm products into food can involve a complex web of intermediate products, storage, transportation handling, and product standards.  At almost every stage, pricing results from free competition, or from regulations predicated on the concerns regarding lack of competition.  This system is charged with coordinating and appropriately compensating the various stages in the chain as value is added to farm products.

There is incessant pressure to innovate, improve the efficiency of, and address equity considerations in the marketing of farm and food products.  We help clients develop an understanding of agri-food markets and marketing institutions, and how to interpret their design and performance.  As they navigate agricultural markets and marketing regulations, our research helps them to form opinions  and make decisions.

Where changes in policy related to agricultural markets are contemplated, Agri-Food Economic Systems provides an independent source of research and analysis  that can inform policy discussions.

Economics of Agri-Food Sustainability

The agricultural system is under acute pressure to feed a growing and wealthier world population, to accommodate higher standards placed on products and people, and to  protect the natural capital  that will form the base for food production in the future.  The downstream food sector is taking an unprecedented interest in agricultural systems  and farm practices in the interest of marketing sustainable food.

The design of agricultural systems is inherently rooted in the economy and social structure of rural areas.  It reflects the efficacy of  farming practices,  the robustness and resilience of practices to weather and pest extremes, preferences for product quality and form, and the costs and benefits of alternative technologies.

We bring the depth of knowledge of agricultural systems, markets and policy to address sustainability with the complete level of analysis it deserves.  We can help you understand how it works, and determine what‘s real, how the system adjusts, and what to watch out for.