GEOG_130 (6/20)

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GEOG 130
Nicole C.List

GEOG 130 (6/20) Wake up and smell the coffee (Black Gold) ● Ethiopia is the largest producer of coffee beans ● ICA regulation collapsed when Brazil refused to renew w/ changing consume tastes, bring price to all-time low ○ “Let free market work itself instead of regulating prices” ● For 1 kilo, they get $.23 instead of $230 (market price) ● System of individual cooperatives selling to middleman → buyers → roasters → sellers → companies → consumers (6 chains) ○ Cooperatives break at least 3 of the chains ○ Subsidies for rich countries = poor countries cannot grow crops & get a good price for them ● Price established in market (far away from where producers are) by businesses that buy the raw materials ● Futures market to offset risk ● “How much bigger can they get? ● WTO sets up rules for global trade ● Trade more important than aid - cannot rely on it forever ○ Self-helping w/ own production versus relying Discussion Questions 1. Fair trade = sustainable system movement that seeks to make prices fair for producers a. Types of certifications: i. First-party certifications: (firms check themselves) ii. Third-party certifications: Organics, Rainforest alliance (overarching body checks companies, government agencies) b. Fair trade seeks to eliminate the domination of powerful companies and nations in the WTO and other organizations c. A farmer would want to engage in “fair” trade in order to get more money for their produce 2. The film did change my perceptions of the coffee trade and reaffirmed my view of the farmers 3. The film was definitely polemic but not overly so. It was well-balanced and did show both sides of the commodity chain: from producer to consumer 4. The price of coffee is established on the market, away from the producers and by the companies. Middlemen add to the cost, cutting off producer from consumer a. World Trade Negotiations b. Since 1989, with the collapse of the International Coffee Agreement, the price for beans has decreased without price controls. However, the cost of buying a cup of coffee has risen. c. Just adding a few cents would change the lives of the farmers because the cost of living is much lower in African and therefore makes more of an impact 5. WTO a. WTO negotiations were considered unfair because powerful nations could afford to send more delegates (and could therefore attend more negotiations) and were more interested in talking about their own subsidies rather than the issues at hand 6. A better life for coffee producers would involve the ability to move away from the coffee trade if their families did not want to continue and the ability to live without reliance on food aide. a. This film focuses on coffee producers/farmers in Ethiopia - specifically one coffee cooperative. b. This is not rep
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