The Globalization of Coffee and the Need for Intercultural Competency

1949 Words8 Pages
Coffee has played a major role in the lives of many people around the world. “Yet, poetic as its taste may be, coffee’s history is rife with controversy and politics…[becoming a] creator of revolutionary sedition in Arab countries and in Europe” (Pendergrast xvi). After reading Uncommon Grounds, it is apparent that the history of coffee is intertwined with the aspects of the globalization process, the role of Multi-National Corporations, and global economic issues.

The coffee industry has proven there is a never-ending shift of global power through the global economy. Thus, through the history of coffee, it is apparent that factors involving the globalization process such as absolute advantage and comparative advantage have had an impact on the coffee industry. Although coffee was discovered in Ethiopia, “it was only a matter of time until the drink spread through trade with the Arabs” (5) and eventually spreading to all parts of the world. This specific industry was very attractive to other countries that had the substantial climatic aspects or effective companies to establish this prosperous business. As technology became more advanced, transportation expanded rapidly throughout the world, thus spreading the word of this special drink. In addition, transporting coffee became easier, quicker, and more efficient. Pendergrast asserts that right before the start of the twentieth century, “a pattern of worldwide boom and bust commenced” (xvii).

While the globalization process is significant to coffee, so are the roles of MNCs. “Some people see the multinational…[corporation] as the main actor in the globalization process which in itself reflects the core meaning of the information society” thus a multi-national corporation“ ‘make...

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