University of Florida

ABE 6933
Logistics of Agricultural Food Chains

Semester Taught - Spring

Catalog Description

Credits: 3

This course covers logistic strategy and concepts for agricultural food chains, and the techniques and tools needed to improve supply chain efficiency and solve logistics problems.


Basic skill of Math and Statistics, knowledge of farming operations

Course Objectives

This course approaches the agricultural food chain holistically. It focuses on the distribution of food and agricultural products, including unique aspects of the food supply chain such as food safety, traceability, and sustainability. Students will use simulation models and gaming to understand some principles and their effect on the supply chain performance.  After completing this course the student will:

  1. Identify key drivers of logistic performance such as facilities, inventory, transportation, information, sourcing, and pricing, food safety and food quality in a food chain.
  2. Describe the relationship and strategic importance of good logistic design, planning, and operations that characterize the supply chain. 
  3. Apply tools at a conceptual and practical level during logistic design, planning, and operation to improve performance.


Fedro S. Zazueta
Tigert 1 
Tel 273-1788
Remigio Berruto
DISAFA, University of Turin
Phone: +39 011 6708596
Patrizia Busato
DISAFA, University of Turin
Phone: +39 011 6708596


Material/Supply Fees


Class Materials Required

There are no required texts for this class.  Selected readings and other learning resources will be provided by the instructors.

Course Outline

  1. Logistics and supply chain definition, main examples description
  2. Characteristics  of agricultural food products: low ratio value/mass, value/volume, perishability
  3. Competitive strategies, main drivers, main barriers to overcome for an efficient logistics
  4. Measuring logistics costs and performance: logistic cost analysis, activity based costs, ABC products
  5. Logistics and customer service/value, customer retention, standard of service and performance
  6. The role of IT in logistics and supply chain management
  7. Matching supply and demand: lead time, demand forecast, planning, MRP, JIT
  8. Inventory management and control: storage costs, optimal order quantity, newsvendor problem
  9. The value of information, supply chain integration, responsive supply chain
  10. Designing and planning the transportation network: transport comparison, intermodal logistics, optimal routes for transport, the role of packaging and containerization
  11. Machine and equipment for logistics, cold chain management
  12. Logistics of locally grown produce
  13. Logistic and transport of agricultural products and biomass
  14. Using technology effectively in logistics and supply chain management: RFID, Intelligent packaging, simulation modeling, advances in cold chain
  15. Risk perception, quality and safety in the food supply chain, quality management systems
  16. Sustainable supply chain and green logistics


Assignments must be presented electronically on 8.5" x 11" paper format; on one side only.  Assignments will be marked down for a sloppy presentation and, if excessive, they may be returned un-graded.  Laboratory and project reports, including all calculations, must be typed.  Homework assignments as well as laboratory and project reports must be turned in before class begins.  Assignments returned late, before 5:00 PM on the day they were due, will be marked down by 10% of their total, assignments returned late, before 5:00 PM on the day following the due date will be marked down by 50% of their total. No assignments late by more than a day will be accepted.


Attendance (on time) and participation is expected from all students at all times.  Cell phones must be turned off prior to the start of class when lectures are held.

Grading Scale
A 90-100%
A- 87-90%
B+ 84-87%
B 80-84%
B- 77-80%
C+ 74-77%
C 70-74%
C- 67-70%
D+ 64-67%
D 60-64%
D- <60%
Grading Method
Exams 50%
Problems/Laboratories/Quizzes 10%
Attendance/Participation 10%
Final Project 30%
Total 100%

Academic Honesty

As a student at the University of Florida, you have committed yourself to uphold the Honor Code, which includes the following pledge: “We, the members of the University of Florida community, pledge to hold ourselves and our peers to the highest standards of honesty and integrity.”  You are expected to exhibit behavior consistent with this commitment to the UF academic community, and on all work submitted for credit at the University of Florida, the following pledge is either required or implied: "On my honor, I have neither given nor received unauthorized aid in doing this assignment." 
It is assumed that you will complete all work independently in each course unless the instructor provides explicit permission for you to collaborate on course tasks (e.g. assignments, papers, quizzes, exams). Furthermore, as part of your obligation to uphold the Honor Code, you should report any condition that facilitates academic misconduct to appropriate personnel. It is your individual responsibility to know and comply with all university policies and procedures regarding academic integrity and the Student Honor Code.  Violations of the Honor Code at the University of Florida will not be tolerated. Violations will be reported to the Dean of Students Office for consideration of disciplinary action. For more information regarding the Student Honor Code, please see:  

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities

The Disability Resource Center coordinates the needed accommodations of students with disabilities. This includes registering disabilities, recommending academic accommodations within the classroom, accessing special adaptive computer equipment, providing interpretation services and mediating faculty-student disability related issues.

0001 Reid Hall, 352-392-8565,  

Software Use

All faculty, staff and student of the University are required and expected to obey the laws and legal agreements governing software use. Failure to do so can lead to monetary damages and/or criminal penalties for the individual violator. Because such violations are also against University policies and rules, disciplinary action will be taken as appropriate. We, the members of the University of Florida community, pledge to uphold ourselves and our peers to the highest standards of honesty and integrity.

Campus Helping Resources

Students experiencing crises or personal problems that interfere with their general well-being are encouraged to utilize the university’s counseling resources. The Counseling & Wellness Center provides confidential counseling services at no cost for currently enrolled students. Resources are available on campus for students having personal problems or lacking clear career or academic goals, which interfere with their academic performance.

  • University Counseling & Wellness Center, 3190 Radio Road, 352-392-1575,

    Counseling Services
    Groups and Workshops
    Outreach and Consultation
    Self-Help Library
    Training Programs
    Community Provider Database

  • Career Resource Center, First Floor JWRU, 392-1601,