write about one specific commodity- something that is available for purchase locally in Vancouver, BC Canada.
Select a spefic brand or make of product or even just one particular product made by a company.
You will try to trace the chain backwards from the final product to its origin included the raw materials and where it was produced and assembled. If possible how was it transported, who are the key players involved and what other factors may influence the trade of this product(govt policies, trade agreements,etc.)
It may not be possible to gather information about all aspects of the chain. However where
specific information is difficult to find, you may be able to find more general information. For
example, you may not find details about where Starbucks obtains their Ethiopian coffee beans or
who is growing them, but you could research coffee farming in general in Ethiopa,(where it is
gown, on what scale, farm ownership, working conditions etc ) and then suggest that this might
apply to Starbucks sources.
As an economic geographer, you should describe the three dimensions of the commodity
chain: its geographical structure, its type of governance, and the relevant institutional
frameworks. In describing the economic commodity chain, you should also include information
on the social, cultural, political and environmental aspects. Working conditions, allocation and
distribution of profits, environmental impacts, social relations, and cultural significance are all part of the chain.
Finally you may discuss issues related to ethical consumption, and whether or not this
particular commodity chain has been affected by attempts to impose any regulations or standards
(such as those related to fair trade)
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