Commodity Chain

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Project: A Commodity Chain

GRG305 This Human World

DEADLINE: April 23 (MONDAY), 2012

Countries in the periphery contribute numerous products to the world including chocolate, natural rubber, peppers, corn, and some industrial goods. Everyday, right here in Austin, we consume or utilize products whose origins can be found in around the world.

The purpose of this project is for you, as students of world system, to analyze one of the many connections between our daily lives and the rest of the world, particularly the periphery. To achieve this goal, we will use the commodity chain of a product that we are familiar with and originates in some other part of the world.

A commodity chain is a sequential process used by firms to gather resources, transform them into goods or commodities and, finally, distribute them to consumers. In short, it is the connected path from which a good travels from producers to consumers.

An example of a commodity chain: Coffee

Farmer (Brasil)(Beneficiado or middle men (Brasil)(Importers(US Based)(Roaster (US Based, Kraft)(Retailers (US Based, Starbucks, HEB)

For this project, pick one product from the periphery or semi-periphery and do a commodity chain. Trace the commodity through each step from its place of origin to a retail outlet in North America. There are countless commodities to choose from so BE CREATIVE. Points will be given for creativity. If you have any doubts about the commodity you have chosen, please contact your TA.

You will have to do some legwork (for example: supermarket visits), and some investigative work. Since this is an academic writing project, Wikipedia, while useful for a general understanding of things (see links above), is not an acceptable source of information for your final project. That said, Wikipedia can be an excellent start to your investigative work using the web and/or other sources.

Once you choose a commodity that you are interested in, start your...
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