1. K-State home
  2. »MAB
  3. »Research
  4. »PeppleChristina2012

Master of Agribusiness

Foreign Direct Investment Decision Making Using an Investment Index

Christina Pepple, Ogden, Utah defended her thesis, “Foreign Direct Investment Decision Making Using an Investment Index,” on November 2, 2012. Pepple is the Assistant Facility Manager at Cargill’s Horizon Milling in Ogden, Utah. She will graduate from Kansas State University in December with a Master of Agribusiness (MAB) degree. 

Cargill currently has flour-milling operations in Australia, South America and North America. With their mission to be a global leader in nourishing the world, it may make sense to place mills in Africa and Asia. The question was how to decide where the best location for a greenfield mill would be.

“When I looked at how international locations have been chosen, there was not a structured set of criteria. Without carefully exploring options, the company may miss out on the best investment,” Pepple said. “I addressed how to select a location for expansion of flour milling facilities to seize upon emerging market opportunities in the most effective manner while ensuring an ability to sustain competitive advantage.”

To aid in the decision, she developed an investment index to identify locations that provide the right production and marketing environment for a profitable investment.  Her investment index was designed to evaluate three components to assist in selecting a location for a greenfield investment: market conditions, economic environment and supporting infrastructure.

Vincent Amanor-Boadu, Associate Professor of Agricultural Economics and Pepple’s thesis advisor, said, “Through this thesis, Christy is going to help organizations make more objective decisions about their international investments. In so doing, they will enhance their competitive position and reduce risk of adverse events.

K-State’s Master of Agribusiness (www.mab.ksu.edu) is an award-winning, distance-education degree program that focuses on food and agribusiness management. Students and alumni work in every sector of the food and agribusiness industry and are located in 40 states within the United States and in 25 countries. 

“This thesis has opened my eyes to the opportunities that exist on a global scale for flour milling. I’ve been able to develop an understanding of economic decision making throughout this process,” Pepple said.

The full thesis publication can be found online on Kansas State University’s Research Exchange at http://hdl.handle.net/2097/14917.