The agenda for marketing research in the 1980s, to a great extent, has already been set by the events of the 1970s. Agriculture is in a period of transition in which commodity surpluses are expected to be less of a problem area. International markets are expanding, and the delivery systems have become complex in both structure and in the functions performed. The dynamics of the marketplace obviously influence the research agenda.
Before looking at the changing research needs for agricultural marketing, a definition of the concept is needed. For the context of this paper, marketing research is defined to be the process of assimilation and creation of information on the economic performance of potential and existing arrangements that facilitate the assembling, distribution, and consumption of foods, fibers, and ornamentals.