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Financial and Marketing Management in Agri-Food Industries
FRE 516
Instructor: Kelleen Wiseman
Office: McML 352
Office Hours: Mon & Wed 12:00 - 1:00pm
Class Schedule: Mon & Wed 1:00 - 2:30pm
Important Course Pages
Lecture Notes
Course Discussion

Class Websites

FRE Course Materials (Notes, Assignments, Solutions) will be posted at:

UBC Connect: Used for upload of assignment and cases for grading.

Piazza: We will be using Piazza for class discussion. The system is highly catered to getting you help fast and efficiently from classmates, the RA, and myself. Rather than emailing questions individually, I encourage you to post your questions on Piazza. Find our class page at: Epoll

Course Description

This course is designed to introduce the principles of financial and marketing management that are most relevant to agri-food and related firms. The content of the course will provide students with the insights and skills necessary to develop, evaluate and implement financial and market strategies. This will be accomplished through the presentation of management fundamentals, financial principles and marketing frameworks; class discussions and presentations; and the completion of an applied management project. Emphasis will be placed on the unique considerations of agriculture, food and agribusiness management.

The content of this course will focus on four main areas including:

  • financial management – statement development & business control and planning
  • business management – business structures & capitalization
  • market analysis - industry & competitive structure analysis
  • risk, financing and economic analysis – financing, risk, leverage and investment analysis

Academic Misconduct

The integrity of academic work depends on the honesty of all those who work in this environment and the observance of accepted conventions such as acknowledging the work of others through careful citation of all sources used in your work. Plagiarism - including self-plagiarism - and other forms of academic misconduct are treated as serious offences at UBC, whether committed by faculty, staff or students. You should be aware of the sections of the University Calendar that address academic integrity and plagiarism ( The UBC library also has a useful web-based Plagiarism Resource Centre that explains what plagiarism is and how to avoid it (

In this course, you will be required to submit some material in electronic form. The electronic material will be submitted to a service which UBC subscribes, called TurnItIn. This service checks textual material for originality. It is increasingly used in North American universities. For more information, review TurnItIn online.

Learning Outcomes

After this course, students will be able to:

  • Describe the unique features of food and agribusiness system and products in a business management context
  • Evaluate and compare the legal structures available for agri-food firms
  • Describe, develop and interpret the main financial statements of net worth, balance sheet, net income and cash flow.
  • Describe and explain the relationships among the main financial statements
  • Analyze financial statements in order to support interpretation, management planning and control.
  • Evaluate and appraise financial progress of firms
  • Develop and interpret financial ratios to assess the liquidity, solvency, profitability and efficiency of businesses in various stages of establishment.
  • Apply marketing and economic frameworks to assess market structure, competition and profitability in order to support decision making in contemporary food and agribusiness firms
  • Compare and evaluate the different types of business financing.
  • Describe the time value of money concept and use it to conduct capital investment, investment of profits and loan analysis related to agri-food firms
  • Identify the sources, assessment and strategies associated with business and financial risk.

Custom Textbook

The Custom Textbook is available at the Copiesmart (103-5728 University Blvd, University Village). The cost for the custom textbook is defined by Copiesmart.

Evaluation Plan

In-Class Activities: ( & miniassignment questions) Throughout the term 10 10
In Class Cases Throughout the term 5 0-5
Assignments 1, 2, 3 – One of Financial, Market or Loan Portfolio Assignment plus two financial assignments. TBA 15 15
Individual Case Project Part 1: Proposal

Part 2: Peer Review
Part 3: Final Written Project

15 10-20
Quiz Two Stage Oct early TBA 5 5
Midterm Oct late TBA 20 15-30
Final Exam (cumulative) TBA 30 20-40

*If desired, you may define your own evaluation plan by selecting a value within the ranges provided for assignments, in-class cases, midterm and/or final exam. Select a value with the range provided, ensure the value adds to 100%, and then email me at by September 26 by 8pm. No changes are permitted after that date so make your selection carefully. If you wish to have your value calculated using the proposed value for each item, no email is required to confirm this. The proposed values will be used for all students who have not specified otherwise.

In-Class Activities (5%) and Epolls (5%)

We will use these as one way to help you be active and engaged in your learning during class.

In-class mini-assignments: Individual activities will take place throughout the term. These will not be announced ahead of time and must be completed and submitted in the class during which they were assigned. You will be asked to submit these via paper copies or on connect in class. If you satisfactorily complete at least 90% of these activities, you will receive all 5% marks. If you complete and submit less than 90% of the inclass mini-assignments, your mark will be calculated as the proportion of mini-assignments you completed throughout the term (e.g., if you satisfactorily completed 70% of these, you would receive a mark of 3.5 out of 5). There will be approximately weekly activities. Late submissions will not be accepted.

Epolls responses: Poll Everywhere is a simple application that allows you to text short answer or answer multiple choice questions using mobile devices like phones or laptops. Students will be asked to participate by visiting a mobile-friendly web page or sending text messages. Instructions will be displayed on-screen. I will invite students by email and then you will be asked to login for Poll Everywhere. Then no matter what the device is used (laptop, smartphone, text message) you will be able to answer and your answer will be logged. You will need to bring one mobile device to class with you each day. If you respond to all the questions on a particular day, you will receive one point for that day. If you earn 90% or more of the possible points available for Epolls throughout the term, you will receive all 5 marks. If you receive less than 90% of the possible points for Epolls participation, your mark will be calculated based on the proportion of points received. There will be approximately weekly activities. Late submissions will not be accepted.

In-Class Cases

The casebook includes a set of cases that we will use as a platform for in-class discussion throughout the term. These cases will focus on key concepts and areas that students generally find more challenging. Practice makes perfect – or at least increases the chances of perfect! Content from all cases covered in class are included in exams and assignments. Be prepared to write down the answers and key points as we go along as solutions will not be posted.

Moderator role: If you have selected to allocate points to the in-class case in your evaluation plan then you will need to sign up as a moderator of one case (details to the sign-up process and schedule will be provided via email in the third week of class). There will be several moderators per case but you do not have to coordinate. As a moderator, you are required to provide accurate answers to the case and be ready to provide answers to the case when the professor requests them in class. As well, you are asked to provide your rough notes to the professor after class.

Class member role: If you are not the moderator, you are still required to read the assigned cases and be ready to fully engage the relevant business planning principles and case solutions.


  • Assignments are to be submitted in a PDF format via Connect System. You can convert to PDF using free PrimoPDF printer (available at or other programs of your choice. It is your responsibility to produce readable files with reasonable size.
  • Required format for assignments includes: PDF; typed; single spaced; title page providing assignment name, your name and UBC student number; and questions provided in correct order
  • Excel usage is not required but encouraged for the completion of the financial assignments.
  • Due dates/times will be posted on each assignment. Solutions to assignments will be posted via Connect on the due date/time. Please note, to be fair to all students, late assignments are not accepted because in most cases the solutions are posted right after time/date due. There is no partial score for late submissions; you should regard assignments as helping you keep up with the course. There will be no makeup assignments.
  • Plagiarism of assignments will earn you a zero in the assignment at a minimum and will be handled according to the policies of the university.

Individual Case Project

You will get the opportunity to apply the principles from the class to the real word by conducting an analysis of a specific business or industry. You will have your choice to either develop a market case or a financial case. The topic of your case will need to be pre-approved by myself and our RA, Alejandro. A handout outlining timing and requirements for the project will be provided on the second week of class.


The midterm (90 minutes in class) exam date is defined in the class schedule and the final exam (2.5 hours) date will be defined by the registrar. Exams content will include problem solving and short answer questions. Examinations will be closed books and closed notes. The final exam will be cumulative.

Please note that a basic non-scientific calculator is required for each exam. Only this type of calculator will be allowed for use in the exam. If you are unsure if your calculator is OK for the exam be sure to check with me prior to the midterm date. Formula sheet and cell phones are not permitted during exams.

If you are unable to write a midterm examination, you must have a verifiable doctor note and must contact me before or immediately after the scheduled date and time and present documentation explaining your absence. If the excuse is considered legitimate then the weight of the exam will be transferred to the final exam. There will be no makeup midterm examinations.

How to Decide About Your Evaluation Plan?

There is no perfect strategy. I am providing you with this option so you can select a plan that suits your strengths and schedule. Select a value with the range provided, ensure the value adds to 100%, and then email me at by September 26 by 8pm. No changes are permitted after that date, so make your selection carefully. If you wish to have your value calculated using the proposed value for each item, no email is required to confirm this. The proposed values will be used for all students who have not specified otherwise.

Course Policies

Class Notes

Notes will be available on the website prior the class. You will need to print and bring these notes to class. These notes provide only the basic information on the topics. Each student is expected to take additional notes during class.

Name Tags

You will be provided with a nametag during the first class. Please ensure you bring this name tag and display it each class. Thanks!

Class Protocol

  • Be on time for class. You are in a UBC business management course – manage your time. It is very disruptive for

the rest of the student and the professor to enter into the classroom late.

  • Participation is important in this class, especially since all students bring important and interesting real-world

experience to discussions. All students are expected to come to class having read the assigned readings and additional resources and be ready to engage in the materials.

  • Laptops are not necessary in the classroom. If you must have a laptop in class, then manage your access so as to

respect others and the instructor by focusing on the lecture.

  • Cell phones should be accessed only for time tracking and Epoll. Texting in class is not professional!
  • Do not enter and exit the classroom during the class. The class is one hour and twenty minutes long and you are

expected to be in the class the entire time.

Course Schedule

  • Interaction of Management, Finance and Marketing Functions
  • Unique Features of the Food and Agribusiness products and firms
  • Financial Statement Development
    • Financial Management Overview: Activities, Statements, Terms & GAAP
    • Depreciation & Asset Valuations
    • Net Worth, Balance Sheet, Statement of Owners Equity, Financial Progress
    • Accrued and Cash Income Statements
    • Cash Flow Statements
    • Break Even & Sensitivity Analysis
  • Business Control and Planning
    • Horizontal & Vertical Analysis
    • Financial Indicators: Profitability, Efficiency, Liquidity, & Solvency Analysis
  • Development of a Financial Profile for an Industry or Firm
Midterm Exam
  • Overview of Food & Agribusiness Marketing
    • Approaches to Marketing
  • Frameworks for Analyzing and Industry & Firms
    • Industry wide
    • Porter Competitive Strategy: Porter Five Forces & Competitive Advantage
    • PESTLE Analysis
    • Competitive Matrix
    • SWOT
    • POSITION & Perceptual Mapping
    • Additional Frameworks as time permits
  • Source of Financing
    • Using Debt and Equity for Capital Purchases
    • Leverage & Capitalization
  • Investment Analysis
    • Role of Financial Institutions
    • Introduction and Application of the Time Value of Money: annuities, perpetuities, loan values, bond values, stock values, and capital investment
  • Risk Management & Decision Making
    • Integrating risk and decision making
  • Development of a Loan or Investment Analysis
  • Business Structure
    • Options, Description, Selection and Considerations
Final Exam

* This schedule should be regarded as a general plan. There may be some variation from this schedule as we proceed.