This issue of the Review contains three papers from the February conference on agribusiness structures and market behaviour. This introduction serves to introduce the papers and sets out a review of recent literature contributions in the marketing and agribusiness area. The review identifies the characteristic market structure of agribusiness as a transformation of farm-based commodities to many differentiated and finished products in consumer markets. This market channel or chain exhibits many of the features of competitive markets due to the many firms involved but also has features which cut across competitive theory such as monopoly buying, lack of full information, and backward integration. In the wider view, agricultural industries interact with other institutions and polities, and must take account of these forces in management and planning. The papers, which follow, analyse the government agribusiness interface from a public choice point of view, marketing structure and information from a market failure point of view, and marketing structure and alliances from a product development point of view.


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