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Coffee Throughout Time and Space: Following Its Global Production Network

Authors: Luiza Dulci*,
Topics: Political Geography, Rural Geography, Latin America
Keywords: Coffee, Global Production Network, Inequality, Scale
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


In the last decades we have seen many changes in how land and agricultural production are perceived and how they can be transported into far distant landscapes around the globe. Most of these changes have to do with technological and financial tools, being utilized as new ways to control production and land. This article follows coffee's global production network, starting from the biggest coffee growing region in Brazil (Southern part of Minas Gerais state) until varied territories and landscapes, such as stock markets, supermarket shelves, and caf├ęs. Different scales are, thus, connected and influence each other. The research is based on a wide range of open source documents from public and private, national and international institutions, and academic studies related to the topic. Field work was conducted on the biggest producing region in Brazil, and primary data was collected from more than 30 interviews and visits at farms, warehouses, roasting industries, traders, and export companies. This analysis gives us a good perspective of the division of labor in the sector, in which major producing countries are all in the Global South, while consuming countries are primarily in the Global North. Even though trade has only increased in the last decades, there seems to be a coffee paradox, for bigger and bigger proportions of the rent generated along the network has been going to North countries and companies, while farmers on the South struggle to overcome their underlying condition.

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