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journal contributionposted on 2023-06-09, 02:04 authored by Jonathan Newman
Coffee has become the modern consumer's Eucharist to save us from the sins of globalised production, yet it is harvested in countries that have some of the highest levels of violence in the world. Ethical trading projects produce narratives of happy peasants far removed from the violent conditions that many coffee producers navigate daily. There is a double fantasy: our consumption of this inanimate object transfigures the lives of producers, delivering them from an uncertain, less radiant future, while the same coffee farmers celebrate the magic of coffee that liberates them from subjugation. Nobody is hurt, nobody is killed, nobody is robbed, nobody goes hungry, nobody cries. This article uses ethnographic research to explore these narratives that take the coffee drinking reader on a journey from the coffee hills of Colombia to George Clooney and Fairtrade's work with Nespresso, questioning the disjuncture between marketing social responsibility and the more disturbing violent conditions of production.
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- Anthropology Publications
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