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Impacts of E-Commerce and Information Technology on Global Agricultural Markets

A Symposium sponsored by the Economic Research Service, Farm Foundation and the University of Minnesota

E-commerce and information technology have had an important impact on productivity in the United States and on general trade flows. In an attempt to understand  specific impacts on agricultural trade and on the agricultural and agribusiness sectors, the Farm Foundation, USDA's Economic Research Service and the University of Minnesota sponsored a symposium in Washington, D.C., May 29 - 30, 2001, to define researchable issues, data needs and policy issues.

Over 60 people from agribusiness, government agencies and universities attended presentations by industry representatives, academicians and government researchers.  The workshop explored the impact of the Internet on transaction costs in agricultural markets, transportation and storage costs, and trading patterns. It also examined the use of the Internet to target niche food markets, to identify preservation of food products, and to develop product standards in the private sector.  There was also discussion of the business experiences of agricultural Internet firms.

The  agenda of the symposium, the power point presentations, the  background paper by the keynote speaker, Robert Kauffman of the University of Minnesota and a  paper on the impacts of trade which was presented at the symposium by Caroline Freund of the Federal Reserve Board are linked here. A  report on the conference and a  conference summary  are also available.

Conference Summary

Shirley Pryor, Economic Research Service
 Conference Summary Document (.pdf)

MAY 29, 2001

Old Economy, New Economy, Information Still Rules

Keynote address: Robert Kauffman, University of Minnesota Economics and Electronic Commerce
Survey and Directions for Research (.html)  (.pdf)  (paper)

E-Commerce and IT: Implications for International and US Trade

Caroline Freund, Federal Reserve Board
 Impacts of E-Commerce on International Trade (.pdf)

Tara Smith, Promar International
Reaping the Cyber Harvest: E-Commerce and Trade in Food and Agriculture (.html)  (.pdf)

Andrew Loder, Cargill International
Capitalizing on Global E-Business Opportunities in Agriculture (.html)  (.pdf)

Jonathan Seltzer
E-Commerce's Effect on Food Retailing and Supply Chains

Use of Information Technology in the Food Systems of Selected Countries: The Current State of Play

Albert Kagan and Paul Patterson, Arizona State University: United States

S. Kenneth Shwedel - Rabobank International, Mexico: Latin America (.html) (.pdf)

Rachel Howe, Cyberworks Japan: Japan

Burak Ar, Private Businessman: Turkey (.html) (.pdf)

Glenn Rogers, United States Agency for International Development, Egypt: Egypt (.html) (.pdf)

Research Priorities, Policy Issues and Data Needs


MAY 30, 2001

Impacts of E-Commerce on Trade

Gordon Hunt, eFruit International
Buying and Selling Juice on Line: A Case Study for International E-Commerce (.html)  (.pdf)

Andrew Schmitz, University of Florida
Buying Inputs and Selling Outputs through E-commerce

Hamid Mohtadi, University of Minnesota
Information Technology Adoption in Supply Chains: Some Global Implications

Potential Impacts of E-Commerce on Industry Structure and Behavior

David Zilberman, University of California, Berkeley
Information Technology and the Evolution and Structure of Agriculture

Rolf Mueller, University at Kiel, Germany
Digital Information Technology and Entrepreneurship in the Agro-food Industry (.html)  (.pdf)

Jeffrey Dorfman, University of Georgia
The Emergence of E-Markets in Agribusiness: How Will They Work and Who Will Win? (.html) (.pdf)

Research Priorities, Policy Issues and Data Needs


  • Glenn Rogers, United States Agency for International Development, Egypt
  • David Zilberman, University of California, Berkeley
  • Jeffrey Dorfman, University of Georgia
  • Troy Schmitz, Arizona State University






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