Student's opinions

"Taking part in the EU’s Erasmus + ISP for 2017 has been one of the highlights of my Masters studies. As I am studying Food Business Strategy, the programme in Bolzano was hugely relevant to my studies and I feel I have taken away some significant learnings that I will be able to apply both as I complete my studies and subsequently in my chosen career path. From start to finish, the whole week was organised brilliantly, with a useful mix of lecture time, discussion and case study visits. Coming from Ireland, I had little experience of the apple or wine industries, so for me, getting an insight into these sectors was one of the highlights, there is so much to learn in terms of how they add value to their produce and the importance of the co – op structure in their success. The cave for storing apples underground at Melinda was one of the best pieces of sustainable innovation I have seen. I would like to commend the lecturers and programme leaders who were always on hand to answer any questions related to the topics discussed, similarly, there was many useful discussions with the fellow students, especially during completion of the group project. Overall, I am very glad I decided to take part and I was privileged to work with such a highly motivated and knowledgeable group of people that I look forward to keeping in touch with in the future. Thank you!"

Martin Minchin, Participant ISP 2017

Research Project title: The Influence of Consumer Preferences on the Governance of the Apple Value Chain / ISP 2016 in Trentino-South Tyrol

TESTIMONIALS by Shtefi Mladenovska, Iulia Banescu and Triantafyllia Starova

Our first interaction with the group of Prof. Luisa Menapace was during the Value Chain Economics lectures. Due to her high involvement and willingness to support the students in her class, we were more than thrilled when the opportunity was offered to conduct a Research Project at the Governance in International Agribusiness group.

Our project focused on the analysis of the fresh apple supply chain in Italy and Germany. To better understand the actors in the apple fruit industry in the Italian and German market, we evaluated the supply chains of two different players: the consortium Melinda, formed by 16 Italian cooperatives in the Trentino-South Tyrol region, and the German shareholder company BayWa, that acts as an intermediary between various German apple producers and cooperatives in the national and in the international apple market.

Thanks to the excellent guidance and assistance from Prof. Menapace we were able to develop an extensive and accurate analysis on the apple supply chain in Italy and Germany. In addition, we were offered the opportunity to take part in an Intensive Study Program (ISP) 2016 in Trentino-South Tyrol, Italy organized by the Governance in International Agribusiness group as part of the Erasmus+ programme “Mobilizing Agro Food Expertise”. During the ISP we were able to get in direct contact not only with the companies under study, but also with other industry partners. We visited the companies on site and our discussions with the representatives proved to support and complement the findings of our research.


“This project and the ISP enabled me to get a solid knowledge in the Agro-food economics. We examined two different institutional environments and run into different strategic interactions of the actors in the supply chain. It is interesting how diverse initiatives each of the actors undertake to compete and differentiate their food products to end consumers.” – Shtefi Mladenovska

"Through this project I was able to expand my experience in supply chain and market research as well as to improve my communication and presentation skills, especially when interacting with company representatives during the ISP excursions and lectures of BayWa delegates. After this successful project, I was fortunate enough to also be supervised by Prof. Menapace while I was working on my Master’s thesis." - Iulia Banescu

“My participation in the research project, together with the guidance from Prof. Luisa Menapace, offered me valuable knowledge and skills in regards to conducting a research and delivering the results. The fact that we were able to witness firsthand the topics we were investigating in our research, during our ISP participation, was a unique opportunity.” – Triantafyllia Starova

We would like to thank Prof. Luisa Menapace for such a great and enjoyable opportunity as well as for her support and guidance.

Shtefi Mladenovska, Iulia Banescu and Triantafyllia Starova

"It was an adventurous week full of interesting excursions and lectures. We not just got more impact about value chains in the fruit industry but we also made friendships for life from other universities and countries."

Heike Dobelmann - Participant ISP 2016

"The location was a great choice. Bolzano, surrounded by apple orchards, vineyards and snow covered summits, is a symbol for values like tradition, community and cooperativeness. Almost every farmer in this region belongs to a cooperative. These values are deeply rooted in their guidelines.

I was positively surprised by the group dynamics that developed so quickly into a nice and interactive working atmosphere. Everybody brought his own experiences, knowledge and expectations into the program. This really helped to encourage the exchange between the students even after the regular classes. We all got along very well and made new friends from abroad.

The ISP has been organised very well in advance so that all activities were conducted with enough time for guided tours through the production- and storage sites as well as intensive discussions about supply chain management and very different aspects regarding to modern agribusiness firms´economics with those responsible, which was the topic of this years ISP.”

Lukas Linden - Participant ISP 2016

"I really enjoyed the interdisciplinary setup of the ISP, providing me a better, more holistic understanding about the scale of current issues and trends in the European agri- and food supply chain. Especially the compact but yet detailed lecture structure on various topics packed into only one week seemed to be very efficient if compared to regular lectures during a semester. Lastly, another big bonus of the ISP was to be able to get in touch and network with other European students of different academic backgrounds, industry representatives as well as with Prof. Menapace and her colleagues."

Julius Schulte - Participant ISP 2015