Sunday, April 19, 2009

Case Study Assignment - The Market For Organic Food

Some tips and reminders:

(a)(i) With reference to figure 1, describe the trend of organic food sales from 1998 to 2006. [2]
  • Look carefully as Figure 1 comprises three different graphs. Consider carefully which one is relevant for answering the question.
  • Trend has already been taught to you in class. Remember NOT to merely describe the graph – your examiner can read it him/herself! Show you can identify the general trend as well as highlight any specific features of the trend. Note that the question is worth 2 marks so do not just give one point (for data interpretation questions).
(a)(ii) Account for the trend shown in (a)(i) [4]
  • Command word: Account for – what does this word require of you? Note that the question is worth 4 marks so a certain level of elaboration and display of the relevant skills is expected.
  • Content: Relevant data from the extracts should be found to support your answer. However, DO NOT JUST QUOTE DIRECTLY FROM THE PASSAGE as your answer! Link it to the appropriate economic terms and analysis – Note: this is NOT a COMPREHENSION QUESTION!
b. Discuss the likely impact of the current worldwide recession and the recent incidents of food scares on the market for organic food. [6]
  • Command word: Discuss – what does this word require of you? Note that as a result, the question is worth 6 marks as an even higher level of response (i.e. consideration of two sides) is expected. Note: How will you SHOW that you are discussing?
  • Content: Again, DO NOT JUST QUOTE DIRECTLY FROM THE PASSAGE! While you should refer to the relevant data given, you need to link to appropriate economic terms and analysis. Link to your understanding of economics (both economic terms and analysis) – this is NOT a COMPREHENSION QUESTION!
  • Content: What does it mean by "market for organic food"? You should note that in the whole of Topic 3, you have been studying various markets and how they respond to changes in demand and supply factors; and as a result new market equilibriums are achieved. Hence, to give a comprehensive answer to this question obviously requires you to do the necessary analysis in this manner.
c. Evaluate the measures that organic food producers and retailers CAN adopt to raise their profit levels. [8]
  • Command word: Evaluate – what does this word require of you? Note that as a result, the question is worth even more, at 8 marks as an even higher level of response (i.e. judgement) is expected. What should you consider when you evaluate a measure? Strengths? Limitations? Effectiveness?
  • Content: Profit level is calculated as the difference between total revenue and total cost. Hence, measures can be drawn from both the revenue and cost side – consider what can affect the revenue and cost of firms, drawing from what you have learnt so far in the lessons.
  • Content: Make reference to the given data where available. Looking at the word: ‘CAN” - you may be tempted to merely come out with your own measures but note that since this is a case study, you should draw from the various sources as far as possible if it is available.

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