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GGRA02H3 (122)
Lecture

ggra02

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Department
Geography
Course
GGRA02H3
Professor
Michael Bunce
Semester
Fall

Description
1 The Global Supermarket Global agribusiness and food systems Preface Rise of the local food movement is a response to the growing dominance of the global food system. How much and what items of food do you consume that come from the Toronto region or from Ontario? To what extent does your supermarket stock local produce? The reality is that our food system is a mix of local, regional, national and global products. It is a good example of “glocalization” – the co-existence of global and local systems. But even the local system is controlled in part by global agribusiness which supplies inputs and controls distribution and marketing Questions • Where does our food come from? • Who controls its production and distribution? • How do geographical concepts apply? The globalized supermarket Factors: 1. The Plantation System – the beginnings of a global agriculture system. Created by the establishment of empires, large scale production of commodities traded on a global scale: cotton, sugar, rubber, tea, coffee. This was a pure capitalist system involving the extraction of maximum surplus values from land and labour (slavery), free trade and markets, private ownership of plantations, large-scale capital accumulation. 2. Social changes, especially in the 19 and early 20 centuries - population growth- rapid growth in western European populations - urbanization – migration from rural areas and farms to cities, by 1900 more people in western Europe lived in urban than rural areas, by 1930 urban population in Canada outnumbered the rural. separation of food producers from consumers, meaning that a growing number of people had to buy their food. Population growth and urbanization needed agriculture to be more productive and changed food into a marketable commodity 3. Transportation and storage innovations - invention of steam engine – steam ships and railways - refrigeration - canning, freezing, cold storage - new methods of drying and storing grain 2 4. Industrialization of agriculture Industrial inputs and processing of outputs –generally referred to as the Agricultural Revolution - appropriation of natural and labour processes by machinery, greenhouses, irrigation, hydroponics… - substitution of natural by artificial processes and ingredients including artificial fertilizers and pesticides - Production line methods of farming - Fordist farming, sometimes referred to as factory farming. 5. Global agribusin
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