ABE 6933

Logistics of Agricultural Food Chains

Semester Taught - Spring


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 problem


Basic skill of Math and Statistics, knowledge of farming operations

Course Objective

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
Email: fsz@ufl.edu
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

All students admitted to the University of Florida have signed a statement of academic honesty committing themselves to be honest in all academic work and understanding that failure to comply with this commitment will result in disciplinary action. This statement is a reminder to uphold your obligation as a UF student and to be honest in all work submitted and exams taken in this course and all others.

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities

Students requesting classroom accommodation must first register with the Dean of Students Office. That office will provide the student with documentation that he/she must provide to the course instructor when requesting accommodation.

Use of Library, Personal References, PC Programs and Electronic Databases

These items are university property and should be utilized with other users in mind. Never remove, mark, modify nor deface resources that do not belong to you. If you're in the habit of underlining text, do it only on your personal copy. It is inconsiderate, costly to others, and dishonest to use common references otherwise.

Software Use

All faculty, staff and students 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 hold ourselves and our peers to the highest standards of honesty and integrity.

UF Counseling and Career Services

Resources are available on-campus for students having personal problems or lacking clear career and academic goals which interfere with their academic performance. These resources include:

  1. University Counseling and Wellness Center, 3190 Radio Road, Gainesville, FL 32611
  2. Career Connections Center, Reitz Union, 392-1601, career development assistance and counseling.