About the
Master´s Degree Program

Objectives and student profile

The Master´s Degree in International Communication, Marketing and Management is specifically designed to cater for fresh produce industry professionals, who are actively involved in the global trade of fresh produce. These industry professionals seek to strengthen their competencies, skills and knowledge in an array of topics that are key to understanding the complexities of the ever-changing global fresh produce industry.

By completing the program, participants would have acquired extensive knowledge and a multidisciplinary perspective regarding the trends and underlying influences impacting the fresh produce value chain and how it interacts with the global market place.

To be considered for entry, prospective students must have completed an undergraduate degree in any discipline and at least five years of documented relevant professional or management experience. Prospective students are required to satisfy an above average level of English language, as the postgraduate course will be dictated principally in English.

Course modules & duration

Masters Program

1. International commerce of fresh produce

Masters Program 2

2. Agriculture and Sustainability

Understanding the Current Production Environment for Fresh Produce and its Impact on Business Decision Making.
Masters Program4

3. Marketing, branding, promotion

Creating opportunities for fresh products.

Masters Program 7

4. Global Business Operations

Logistics, Controls & Customs.

Masters Program 5

5. Legal & regulatory enviornment

Masters Program 3

6. Strategic planning

Organizers and Institutional Supporters


Institutional Supporters

Module 1:
Introduction to international commerce of fresh produce

1.Block – General market overview 

  • Overview of the global produce industry
  • Global trade flows – exports and imports; including domestic and international market analysis 
  • Introduction into major producing countries in Northern and Southern Hemisphere and market structures 
  • Introduction into major importing countries in Northern and Southern Hemisphere and market structures 
  • History of global fresh produce trade:  change of trading structures over time. 
  • The role of fresh produce in economic context 
  • Economic history/economic evolution and impact on fresh produce trade 
  • Monetary policy and impact on fresh produce trade 


2. Block: Consumption and market trends 

  • Analysis market and production trends
  • Commodity trends (over time) 
  • Consumer trends and consumption 
  • The role of fresh produce in different cultural context and nutrition 
  • International markets and channel opportunities 


3. Block: International trade negotiations

  • History of international trade negotiations
  • Economic and political role and assessment of international trade negotiations and its impact on global fresh produce trade 
  • Evolution of patterns of trade negotiation from tariff reductions to sustainability and SPS 


4.Block: Multilateral diplomacy and actors / Advocacy for the fresh produce industry 

  • Introduction into interest representation 
  • Interest representation and advocacy for the fresh produce sector, 
  • Structure of global associations and contextualization of work environment, 
  • Opportunities and scope of impact of fresh produce advocacy 
  • Strategies for technical assistance and interest representation to policy makers 
  • Political campaigning strategies  
  • Introduction into role of the multilateral role and network: FAO, WTO, UNCTAD, OECD, World Bank, International Plant Protection Convention

Module 2:
Agriculture and Sustainability: Understanding the current production environment of fresh produce and its impact on decision making and a sustainable planet

1. Block: Agriculture 

  • History of agriculture and cultivation of fresh produce 
  • Political and regulatory background of agricultural production including domestic, international, and multilateral rule setting environment
  • Agricultural subsidy systems and impact on global fresh produce trade 
  • Production methods of fruit and vegetables – history, present and innovation 
  • Global production environment for fresh produce and competitiveness 
  • Agricultural Production and Food Safety and Quality requirements in constant change 
  • Food Safety Regulations and Policy environment, monitoring 
  • Pesticides and pesticide resistance; IPM, 
  • Opportunities and challenges for organic production 
  • Water management and challenges 
  • Soil management and challenges 


2. Block: Sustainability 

  • Introduction into the global sustainability debate 
  • Sustainability challenges for the fresh produce sector in global context and key markets 
  • Consumer requirements towards sustainability 
  • Retail perspective on sustainability and role of private certification schemes 
  • Environmental and climatic conditions and its impact on fresh produce production
  • Socio-economic conditions impacting fresh produce business
  • Economic analysis of pest and disease impact
  • Economic analysis of ecosystem service
  • Economic impact of food safety practices 
  • Sustainability actions and initiatives of the fresh produce sector 
  • Measuring, reporting, and communicating about fresh produce sustainability 

Module 3:
Marketing, Branding and promotion: Creating new opportunities for fresh produce in new marketing channels

1. Block: Distribution structure and retail 

  • Retailing Offline and multi-channel: Market strategies, trends and sourcing 
  • Wholesale markets and distribution structures 
  • E-Commerce: State of play, Market structures in key markets, eCommerce strategies 


2.Block: Marketing

  • Target groups and global consumer markets analysis 
  • Branding strategies for fresh produce 
  • Traditional marketing strategies 
  • Digital marketing – making use of digital tools for fresh produce marketing 


3.Block: Market access strategies

  • Market access strategies to position fresh produce commodities in a new market

Module 4:
Global trading operations: Customs, Controls, Logistics, amongst others

1. Block: Logistics

  • Introduction into global fresh produce logistics 
  • Port and storage logistics, airfreight
  • Distribution chains to the end-consumer 
  • Key challenges for the fresh produce supply chain
  • Economic planning and management of logistic operations 
    • Master production scheduling
    • Transportation planning 
    • Basic and advanced forecasting methods
    • Lot size methods 
    • Stock calculations 
    • Tracking and tracing technologies 
    • Capacity planning
    • Network optimization 


2.Block: Customs 

  • Introduction into customs policy including history of customs, multilateral and national rule setting, customs unions, WTO and World Customs Organisation perspective, 
  • Custom rules in key markets including certification requirements, facilitations for fresh produce, procedures, authorized economic operators, including identification of key authorities and network, including case examples:
    • EU Customs procedures and Union Customs Code including GSP scheme, procedures for EUR-1 and rules of origin, plant trade specific procedures for phytosanitary certificates, CHED’S, COI within the TRACES system, identification of customs network and key contact points for crisis management; resources to find information,
    • Chinese Customs procedures and requirements 
    • U.S. Customs procedures and requirements 
    • Commonalities and differences 
    • Digitalization and development of Single Window environments: State of Play and fresh produce sector readiness
  • Introduction into tariff schedules and management: how to read tariff schedules 
    • WTO MFN Tariff Schedule
    • EU Tariff Schedules 
    • China Tariff Schedule 
    • U.S. Tariff Schedule 
  • Customs planning and management  


3.Block: Border Control Operations & entry points 

  • Border Control Operations in key markets (EU, China, U.S.) including main entry points:
    • Key challenges for fresh produce at border crossings: waiting times, quality, storage capacities etc. 
    • Regulatory basics 
    • Commonalities and differences 
    • Procedures and specific requirements 
    • Biosecurity and food safety controls 
    • WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement and potential impact for fresh produce control operations 
    • Key authorities and network

Module 5:
Legal and regulatory environment for fresh produce trade

1.Block: Introduction into international trade law 

  • WTO Law and Bretton Woods System: International trade law, international monetary system, and currency regulation 
  • WTO TBT Agreement and functioning
  • WTO SPS Agreement and functioning 
  • Dispute Settlement Mechanism 
  • GATT – General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 
  • International tax law and planning for cross-border business operations 


2.Block: Market access conditions in national context

  • Global market access conditions for fresh produce: open vs. closed plant import systems; protocol negotiations 
  • International Phytosanitary Standards (ISPM) governed by the IPPC 
  • Plant Health Law in key markets in comparison and impact on global trading operations 
  • Food Safety and quality law in key markets in comparison 
  • Global commonalities and differences in labelling and packaging requirements 
  • Global comparison sustainability regulations 
  • Addressing trade barriers and achieving trade facilitation 


3.Block: Property rights, plant variety rights and branding rights 

  • Introduction into property rights and IPR with attention to new breedings, introduction into plant variety rights 
  • Introduction into legal scope of branding rights, including club varieties

Module 6:
Strategic Planning for sustainable business operations

1.Block: Strategic planning 

  • Commerce and trade information systems and databases 
  • Data analysis and presentation 
  • Value chain management 
  • Product introduction 
  • Economic planning and forecasting 
  • Project management 


2.Block: Risk management 

  • Risk analysis & Contingency Planning 
  • Crisis management 
  • Managing commercial elements of force majeure: liabilities, insurances, compensations 


3.Block: Professional Communication 

  • Communication and crisis communication 
  • Taking benefit from digital work models 
  • Intercultural competences and etiquettes including digital communication 
  • Negotiation skills for achieving results in a global trading environment
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