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You are asked to write a review of:
Luttinger, N. & Dicum, G. (2006) The Coffee Book New Press (2nd ed.)
a) How has the current production of coffee developed historically? (rough guide – 300 words)
b) What market structures can we see as coffee makes it way from ‘crop to the last drop’? (rough guide 500 words)
c) Who should our ‘coffee dollars’ go to? (rough guide – 200 words)
You should write these before you sit down to write the final review. You will have gone over each section in class and should use the advice given to help you write the answers to these three questions.
The easiest way to tackle this question on market structure is to describe the market structure at each stage of coffee production so that you cover: small farmers (with a mention of the larger scale Brazilian estates), traders, roasters and retailers. Here you could use your research on prices charged in supermarkets.
Page 74 shows that coffee prices are highly volatile. Pages 108-120 of chapter 3 demonstrate where the coffee dollar actually goes in this very volatile market. These are key sections to read.
However, saying what is happening is not the end of the question – where should the coffee dollar go? Here the final chapters are relevant discussing in particular the rise of fair trade. The film ‘Black Gold’ demonstrates other ways of getting round the power of the mega roasters. You will find also discussions of this problem in other readings provided with the outline of the assignment on Moodle.
Talbot, J. (1997) “Where does your coffee dollar go? The division of income and surplus along the coffee commodity chain” Studies in Comparative International