The 'Latte Revolution'? Regulation, Markets and Consumption in the Global Coffee Chain

Stefano Ponte*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Coffee is a truly global commodity and a major foreign exchange earner in many developing countries. The global coffee chain has changed dramatically as a result of deregulation, new consumption patterns, and evolving corporate strategies. From a balanced contest between producing and consuming countries within the politics of international coffee agreements, power relations shifted to the advantage of transnational corporations. A relatively stable institutional environment where proportions of generated income were fairly distributed between producing and consuming countries turned into one that is more informal, unstable, and unequal. Through the lenses of global commodity chain analysis, this paper examines how these transformations affect developing countries and what policy instruments are available to address the emerging imbalances.
Original languageEnglish
JournalWorld Development
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)1099-1122
Number of pages24
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Coffee
  • Commodity chains
  • Development
  • Globalization
  • Regulation

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