International Business

Frontiers of Commodity Chain Research by Jennifer Bair

By Jennifer Bair

Extending the frontiers of commodity chain examine, this precise quantity contains unique paintings from significant figures in sociology, heritage, geography, and exertions reviews. It underscores the large and interdisciplinary allure of chain ways for reading the commercial, social, and political dimensions of foreign alternate and construction networks.

Commodity chain research sheds gentle at the political and ecological implications of monetary globalization and on how activists in pursuit of social justice, staff' rights, and environmental defense can use it. Following a substantive assessment of literature within the box, the gathering is going directly to research theoretical and methodological debates over the best way to behavior examine on international commodity and price chains, how energy is exercised via those chains, and the way worldwide fiscal actions are coordinated throughout area. the result's a wealthy and surprisingly coherent quantity that demonstrates how commodity and price chain research is informing modern learn in various fields.

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Only green Arabica coffee beans were sold. Now their provenance—Mocha, Java, Reunion, Guyana, Jamaica, or Haiti—was taken 44 Chapter 2 into account in the reckoning of price, with the spreads between cultivators as large as 100 percent (Posthumus 1946, vol. 1: 75–79). But origin identifications were often not officially enforced, so fraud and adulteration were common. Green coffee was sold at auction in Europe by consignment merchants who dealt in mixed cargos. Merchants and shippers—who were often the same people—governed the chain.

Strikingly, Brazil’s coffee boom was slow to lower transaction costs. Brazilian coffee planters (fazendeiros), as well as slavocrat growers in Haiti, Jamaica, and Puerto Rico, were clearly market-oriented. But even fazendeiros were buffered from the market in the interior by poor roads and communications until the twentieth century. They had to negotiate a complicated chain in Historicizing Commodity Chains 49 which small growers sold to larger growers or mill owners, who sold through factors (commissarios), who often sold to sackers, who blended the coffee and then sold to exporters, who initially were consignment merchants (Laerne 1885; Sweigart 1987; Greenhill 1993).

2 Historicizing Commodity Chains Five Hundred Years of the Global Coffee Commodity Chain Steven Topik A brief historical analysis of the creation and development of coffee commodity chains will allow us to appreciate the multiple forces and factors that have been involved over time in a crop going global. 1 Coffee differs from many other tropical commodities: it is a food whose variations in taste are valued; it is less perishable than many tropical fruits; it is a psychoactive drug because of caffeine; and it has enjoyed a long partnership with humans.

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