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Sunday, July 14, 2013

Essay on the Impact of Globalization on Coffee

Write a research paper of about 600 words in length on the impacts of globalization on a specific food item of your choice. in your essay examine how the globalization of the agri-food system impacted
availability and accessibility of this food item?

Essay on The Impact of Globalization on Coffee

            Globalization has definitely penetrated all aspects of life. It has numerous profound effects on economy, politics, culture and various fields of businesses all over the world. Globalization has affected all the lifetime choices of people everywhere. It has also transformed the social relations, the production, communication, practices and ideas. One of the major industry that had felt both he direct and indirect impacts of globalization is that of the coffee industry. Since the1970’s , the start of the changing global market, the face of coffee industry had already gone a lot of transformations (Lewis, 2013).

            The industry of the global coffee had undergone big transformations over the past decades. The production of coffee become a boom in a lot of countries as the consumption of coffee products rose exponentially. The massive sales of the known coffee retail outlets such as the Seattle’s Best and Starbucks over the last decades proved the great demand of coffee all over the world (Frank, 2004).  From Columbian coffee farmers to the American coffee shop owners and Starbucks patriot that depends on the coffee industry, we can now say that globalization truly affects all aspects of the coffee chain. Coffee next to oil is now the second largest commodity as it is harvested in more than 80 countries and consumed in all countries world-wide. There are more than 20 million people who depend on coffee for their livelihood (Globalization 101,2009). Coffee thus is seen as very important to the world economy. The cultivation, processing, transportation, trading and marketing of coffee provided a lot of employment opportunities for millions of people all over the world (International Coffee Organization). 

            The impacts of globalization on coffee industry can be further seen in the changes it brought upon the prices, production, corporate exploitation, quality and the environment. The impact on the coffee prices are one of the major effects of globalization on the coffee industry. The price of coffee started to peak during the late 1960’s and early 1970’s where it reached $3 per pound. Due to the increase of the globalization of coffee though, the coffee prices dropped significantly. The decrease in the coffee prices is because of the increased in the production of coffee. Together with the increase in the coffee demand, there had also been overproduction in coffee which made the prices to drop as low as 62 cents per pound in 2001. 

          Another effect of globalization in coffee industry can be seen on the coffee production. The overproduction of coffee because of the high demands of consumer both had negative and positive effects on the third world countries. These third world countries struggle to get their fair share in the market place that is why they try to be competitive in coffee production. They want to produce more and more coffee because they hope to earn big sales on the market place. But due to overproduction, the large coffee surpluses sometimes had nowhere to go. When there is an a big coffee surpluses, large retailers can take advantage and demand lower prices to the third world country coffee producers. Globalization also brought about corporate exploitation. Because of the increased demands in coffee, coffee products were then packaged by the manufacturers in the corporate level in a mass scale. Due to the mass production, the coffee industry had been dominated by the corporations. Because of the dominion of the corporations in the coffee industries, the coffee farmers and manufacturers in the third world countries experienced an unfair trade. Corporations take advantage of these small scale farmers and producers. Corporations receive most of the sales in coffee while the small- scale farmers and producers receive very little amounts. The quality is also affected as the coffee production increased over time. Because of the desire for cheaper coffee, manufacturers resorted to producing low quality coffee products. This low quality products triggered the demand of most people for high quality coffee. Because of this desire, consumers went far from being willing to pay very high prices just for a single cup of coffee (Lewis,2013). 

          Lastly the globalization of coffee brought environmental degradation. Since the demand for coffee production is high, some of the ancient forests were cleared because of the hopes that these can be potential fertile grounds where coffee can be grown. 

            In conclusion, globalization affects all the aspect of the coffee industry. The demand for coffee made it such an important commodity today. Though the globalization of coffee industry can be a source of livelihood for millions of people, it can also bring negative effects such as exploitation among the third world countries coffee farmers, excessive consumerism and environmental degradation.


Lewis, J. (2013). The Effects of Globalization on Coffee Companies. Retrieved July 13,2013 from


Frank, J. (2004). Coffee In The Times Of Globalisation. Retrieved July 13,2013 from

International Coffee Organization. The Story Of Coffee. . Retrieved July 13,2013 from

Globalization 101. Cup of Joe: Globalization and Coffee. Retrieved July 13,2013 from

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