"De Mi Tierra" won the award for Best Teaching Case in 2 academic communities

29 of June 2023
Caleb A. Pichardo
  • Professor Esteban R. Brenes participated during the month of June in the conferences organized by the International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IFAMA) in Christchurch, New Zealand and by the Business Association Latin American Studies (BALAS) in Mexico City.
  • In both conferences the case "De Mi Tierra" was awarded as the best teaching case of the conference, something that academic societies of this type traditionally offer. 

The case study "De Mi Tierra" has been developed from the Steve Aronson Chair of Strategy and Agribusiness at INCAE Business School by the professor of strategy Stephen R. Brenes together with María Fernanda López, Guest Researcher at the Zamorano Pan-American Agricultural School, and Caleb Andrés Pichardo, Senior Researcher. In addition, there was the support of Banco Ficohsa, who is an important actor in this case with its focus on "Environment, Social and Governance (ESG)" promoting access to credit for small farmers in rural areas. from Honduras.

This case caught the attention of researchers, professors, and agribusinessmen who participated in these activities, since it demonstrates the great opportunity to share an association scheme between different actors in the agribusiness chain. This scheme provides multiple opportunities and benefits for each of them, which individually would be difficult to achieve. For example, among many other benefits, orientation to formal banking and access to a market segment with great needs, but with high barriers to entry and the substitution of imports of agricultural products by supermarkets.

The program studied in the case, as a teaching method, is a strategic articulation since 2008 between Banco Ficohsa, Supermercados La Colonia and the Foundation for Rural Business Development (FUNDER). The objective is to promote sustainable growth of small agricultural producers in rural areas through financing, captive market opportunities and technical assistance. However, despite its trajectory and sustainability, the program has remained relatively small, which is why it is proposed to redefine the system's strategy to take the program to another level of growth.

The teaching case is a fundamental tool in business schools around the world, at INCAE this case will be used in its executive education programs and specialized master's degrees. At Ficohsa, they valued this research collaboration as a mechanism to obtain opinions and ideas from leaders in the sector, which allow broadening the vision of the strategic alliance formed and guiding the program towards its continuous improvement and growth.

IFAMA 2023 New Zealand. 

After a year of winning the award for the best teaching case with "Cacao Oro" in Costa Rica 2022, INCAE is once again a protagonist by winning this award consecutively at the IFAMA New Zealand 2023 edition of the world conference of this organization, which was founded by Ray Goldberg, emeritus professor at Harvard Business School, and creator of the concept of "agribusiness."

Professor Esteban R. Brenes during the IFAMA 2023 conference in New Zealand

IFAMA convenes every year the best specialists in the world to develop projects and solutions that guarantee access to food for all human beings on the planet. This 2023, he awarded the case of INCAE for its contributions to the central theme of the conference and the symposium "Transforming the Global Food and Fiber System". 

On this occasion, the symposium and teaching case presentations were coordinated and led by Massey University and Lincoln University. The case written by INCAE Faculty and researchers was recognized for its contributions to interdisciplinary initiatives and inspiration of talent, to highlight the challenges and opportunities in the capacity of the food sector.

One motivation to produce this case was the scope it has and the interest of how it can motivate the replication of the model, it is also a means to reach the different leaders in agribusiness, be they companies, academia, the public sector, and others who can identify the benefits of the model, to reproduce it at different scales and industries in the agricultural sector.

BALAS 2023 Mexico Federal District

The Business Association of Latin American Studies (BALAS) was organized and led by EGADE Business School in Mexico City this 2023. This year's theme was “Facing Deglobalization: Views from and for Latin America” where INCAE Business School was able to participate in the category of teaching cases on the topic of “Sustainable Business”. 

The case "De Mi Tierra" was selected as the best teaching case thanks to its focus on sustainability through practical research to improve the understanding of strategy in companies. The latter coupled with environmental and social sustainability concerns in the business sector that become more relevant in current realities.

Founded more than 30 years ago, BALAS is the first academic association focused on business and economics for the Latin American and Caribbean region. Academics, researchers, and PhD applicants from around the world participate in the conference which is popular for its high academic standards. In addition to the conference, BALAS produces special edition publications, in which INCAE has participated on various occasions. 

Professor Esteban R. Brenes, María Fernanda López and Caleb Andrés Pichardo thank the support of the Steve Aronson Chair of INCAE Business School during the investigation. This Chair was led by Prof. Brenes until December 2022. Currently, the Professor Luciano Ciravegna is its manager.