The World is about as Globalised as a Coffee Bean is Mocha

by elizabethfcoates


I can feel the chocolatey goodness already…

Dear Salmons, 

As a Geography student, I feel the urge to put my outraged, hippy face in front of anyone who claims the world is globalised, and tell them why it isn’t. And the main reason is, that’s not what you think it means.

You pick up your Costa Coffee; size massimo, you’re drained, and you watch the frothy milk billow around the surface. Your companion has a mocha; she’s a trendy one. Primo, of course; a mocha is what you should drink if you want to stay trim and prima.

Now think of that mocha she has, and now think of globalisation. Everything a conventional geographer thinks about globalisation is found entirely within that little cup.

Here’s why; for a geographer, globalisation is the increased international interconnected-ness of different groups that have a vested interest in each other.

In Plain English, that means that an individual in one part of the world, can trade with someone from another part of the world, instead of having to rely on the local shady dealer who fleeces you of money because he’s the only one who will buy your product from you. 


Yeah, kind of like him (Sorry, Mr Rafani)

So now, you can go abroad for the best deals. But herein lies the problem; if you’re selling coffee beans, and they’re going to become mocha as well as delicious ground coffee, how on earth is the whole world involved in this?

Globalisation implies that the product is produced internationally. Not so; only a specific region can grow coffee – and it’s the same area that produces cacao beans for chocolate!

If a place has monopoly for coffee and cacao beans, surely this would be no different from the market dealer who you’re trying to avoid?

The companies who will purchase your beans, cacao or coffee, they don’t produce; they sell your beans on for an extortionate amount, leaving you missing out.

What WOULD be globalisation is if the farmers sold the beans direct to Costa Coffee, your workplace, the twee café (called Lily’s or something) on the corner, etc. They would be directly dealing with the consumer, and spraying their beans everywhere!

But whilst the chain is tightly controlled by people who only see the beans as money, it’s not worldwide; it’s world-scoped. The coffee beans go to where it is profitable for that chain (and Starbucks in the U.K. is certainly struggling there…), not for the farmer.

I will not agree that the world is globalised until everyone is able to sell things on the global market, and not have to deal with the shady trader.

Keep swimming, Salmons.