China and the changing economic geography of coffee value chains

Neilson, Jeffrey, and Wang, Ju Han Zoe (2019) China and the changing economic geography of coffee value chains. Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography, 40 (3). pp. 429-451.

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For the past three centuries, the economic geography of the global coffee sector has been characterized by the supply of beans from tropical countries for consumption in North America and Europe, with various modes of value chain coordination enacted by lead firms to ensure reliable and affordable supply. This pattern is now fundamentally changing, with growth in coffee consumption in emerging markets, including China, exceeding that in established markets. But China is not only a growing consumer market, it is less well known that rapidly increasing agricultural production in Yunnan province of southwest China has also inserted the country as an important source region for coffee, and this has been pivotal in facilitating the emergence of Chinese lead firms in the sector. This article presents the emergence of China, and Chinese firms, at a critical juncture for the structure and governance of the global value chain for coffee. The processes through which this is occurring are outlined, and the implications for regional development prospects across Southeast Asia are discussed. We argue that the changing economic geography of coffee value chains, and their increasing driven-ness by Chinese actors, is starting to reshape the regional coffee industry in profoundly new ways.

Item ID: 60385
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1467-9493
Keywords: China, Coffee, economic geography, Southeast Asia, value chains, Yunnan
Copyright Information: © 2019 The Authors. Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography published by Department of Geography, National University of Singapore and John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in a any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made. [The copyright line for this article was changed on 30 July 2020 after original online publication.]
Funders: Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR)
Date Deposited: 18 Sep 2019 23:12
FoR Codes: 44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4404 Development studies > 440406 Rural community development @ 10%
38 ECONOMICS > 3801 Applied economics > 380101 Agricultural economics @ 90%
SEO Codes: 82 PLANT PRODUCTION AND PLANT PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8299 Other Plant Production and Plant Primary Products > 829999 Plant Production and Plant Primary Products not elsewhere classified @ 10%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society @ 90%
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