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The third edition of the European food and agricultural workshop(EFAS)

27 March 2009 827 views No Comment

The Third Edition of the European Food & Agribusiness Seminar (EFAS) will be held in Rome from 18 – 21 October 2009. This seminar has been arranged in a special way in that future developments in this domain will be discussed using cases featuring specific companies. These cases will be developed specially for the seminar, following a tried and tested Harvard Business School method.

This seminar will be organised by Wageningen UR (University & Research Centre) in collaboration with Prof. Ray Goldberg, Emeritus Professor of Harvard University. It will contribute to the needs of top people in the food industry and related organisations when exchanging thoughts about the constantly changing market and the rapidly advancing technological developments. The CEO of whichever company is featured will be present when that case is discussed. This year, the present financial and economic crisis, and how best to deal with it, will, without doubt, be an important topic of conversation. EFAS is the only platform in Europe where an exchange of ideas of this kind can take place, in this way, and on this level.  

Also this year, attention will again be focused on a number of interesting companies and on the developments that are expected there. Possible strategies that might be followed will be discussed. In the first place, this will feature the Japanese company Kikkoman, the world’s largest producer of soya sauce; a company established more than 350 years ago and so one that has already withstood very many changes and difficult periods. The second example will be Perdigão, the largest meat processing company in Brazil, that, each year for the last 15 years has achieved a growth in its annual turnover of more than 15 percent. Other companies that will be discussed include a successful Portuguese retailer (Jerónimo Martins) and the main producer of agricultural machinery (John Deere). Three Dutch companies will be included in the programme to focus attention, respectively, on the extremely successful conversion of a chemical company into a producer of functional foods and food ingredients (DSM); a megamerger of two giant producers of dairy products in order to strengthen their position in the market (FrieslandCampina); and a fast-growing company entirely devoted to the production of private label, rather than brand, milk-based and soft drinks (Refresco).

The EFAS programme will be led by Dr Aalt Dijkhuizen, Chair of the Executive Board of Wageningen UR.

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