Many types of change, from emerging technologies to natural resource shortages to political shifts, have put pressure on traditional agribusiness business models—and created new possibilities for companies that can innovate, develop new strategies, and scale their operations. For more than 50 years, business leaders from around the world have gathered for the Agribusiness Seminar at Harvard Business School (HBS). This annual event provides a unique opportunity to join an elite group of global executives as they discuss the changing agribusiness landscape—and shape the future of this vital industry. You will gain valuable insight into agribusiness trends, challenges, and emerging opportunities, and find new ways to build competitive advantage and drive business growth.
Whatever role your company plays in the agribusiness value chain, this program will help you stay current on shifts in market demand, regional and global trends, and local operating realities. You will examine new business models for navigating rapid changes in technologies, consumer trends, geopolitics, and natural resources. With a more nuanced understanding of the key issues facing agribusiness today, you will be better able to create a strong future for your business—and for the planet and its people
What You Will Learn
Through faculty presentations, case studies, group discussions, and industry guest speakers, you will explore agribusiness trends and best practices covering a wide array of business, economic, political, environmental, and social issues.
The curriculum is based on the world-renowned HBS case method—a highly interactive approach that engages participants in a dynamic exchange of ideas as they identify and test possible actions. Further enriching the sessions is the unique opportunity to meet and hear from top executives of the companies featured in the cases.
The 2019 seminar will feature new agribusiness-specific cases incorporating the latest trends, bold business models, strategies for success, and novel thinking about industry opportunities and challenges. Anticipated case studies will feature the following companies and organizations:
- Administración Enrique Duhau (Argentina)
- Almarai (Saudi Arabia)
- Bord Bia (Ireland)
- Darling Ingredients (U.S.)
- Driscoll's (U.S)
- Jain Irrigation Systems (India)
- Lagunitas Brewing Company (U.S)
- The Nature Conservancy (U.S.)
- New Hope Liuhe (China)
- Tyson Foods (U.S.)
- Zespri (New Zealand)
Creating more resilient, sustainable supply chains
- How are traditional supply chains being disrupted by emerging competitors, changing business models, new technologies, natural resource scarcity, shifting consumer demands, and volatile political climates?
- How can companies meet strategic objectives while mitigating risk, controlling cost, and capturing value?
- Which companies will benefit from integrating vertically, and why?
- What kinds of partnerships will be most successful?
- How can companies balance tight control and predictability with flexibility and responsiveness?
- How will demand for transparency and sustainable sourcing change the supply chain?
Addressing the needs of consumers around the world
- How can firms design effective strategies for different market challenges, such as food safety, food scarcity, and the demand for healthy, sustainable, and convenient choices?
- How can they connect with consumers in target markets and build differentiated brands?
- How can fast-growing consumer demand for protein be met efficiently and sustainably?
- How can the industry and government work together to promote national and regional food security and to promote the environmental sustainability of energy and food production?
- How are new business models, novel investment vehicles, and technology-enabled distribution strategies providing new ways to create value for customers and investors?
- What are the ripple effects of these innovations?
- What kinds of innovation will drive the industry in the future?
- How can existing barriers to the effective implementation of business practices and governmental policies be overcome?
- How are leading companies increasing their capacity to innovate and bring new products to market?
- How should companies innovate to overcome environmental challenges?
Navigating a volatile landscape
- How can companies maintain momentum in the face of climate change, regulatory and policy uncertainty, widely fluctuating commodity supplies, and dramatic price swings?
- What are the key steps to anticipating change, managing risk, and responding effectively?
- How will government policies impact companies doing business locally, across borders, or globally?
- What other kinds of volatility will force companies to adapt their strategies and operations in the years to come?
Supporting farms of the future
- What is the future of farming in developing and mature markets?
- How are unpredictable trade and immigration policies creating new challenges for farmers?
- Who will constitute the next generation of farmers, and how will farmers access the agricultural labor necessary to operate farms?
- What role do governments and the populations they serve play in ensuring a sustainable farm workforce? How can farmers establish financial security?
- How will technological advances evolve the practice of farming and bring important efficiencies?
Who should attend
- Current and rising leaders, ranging from senior executives in large multinational companies to heads of family businesses and agribusiness entrepreneurs, in all sectors of the industry
- Producers, processors, and distributors of agricultural and food products
- Marketers of fresh and packaged foods, convenience meals, and snacks
- General and specialized grocery retailers, food e-commerce players, and foodservice providers
- Manufacturers and distributors of agricultural inputs, supplies, and farm equipment
- Financial services firms that directly serve the agribusiness industry
- Government agencies and nongovernment institutions that further agribusiness for the public good
- Digital, biotechnology, and other technology players that shape the food, agriculture, and energy sectors
Particularly appropriate for: Chairpersons, chief executive officers, presidents, managing directors, owners, and other company leaders who drive strategy for their firms.