Agriculture: The Geography of a Breakfast Commodity


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In this assignment I commissioned a rather easy breakfast ingredient/menu like a Banana or Kiwi. If you think another ingredient would be easier you can pick that.
Assignment 10- Agriculture The Geography of a Breakfast Commodity
Your access to the breakfast you eat depends on environmental conditions, economic networks, labor relations, political decisions and other events that have happened over time in particular places. Many people in many places have been involved in producing, transporting, and marketing the ingredients that make up your breakfast. Many other people have been involved in disposing of the waste created all along those processes. In addition to those who grew and harvested your orange, for example, others have negotiated international trade agreements, signed labor contracts, established government subsidies for certain crops, and so on. In this way, sitting at your breakfast table, you are connected to coffee growers in Latin America, jam makers in England, labor leaders in the southeast United States, trade negotiators in Washington D.C., and their counterparts in dozens of other countries. For this assignment you are asked to think about, investigate, and map the networks of food production that result in the breakfast on your table. In particular, you are asked to think about the places where food is grown, processed, packaged, distributed, consumed, and how they are related to one another. • For this assignment you will need to research a primary foodstuff or ingredient – that is, if you eat doughnuts for breakfast, then you could research wheat, sugar, cinnamon, chocolate, or coconut (choose 1). • Answer the following questions about that ingredient/commodity: o Where and how is the breakfast item produced? List as many regions/countries as you can identify, then focus on one region/country in particular Describe the physical geography such as climate, soil, terrain Describe the farming practices including size of farms/land holdings (e.g. family farms, plantations, large corporate farms), and typical labor force (e.g. migrant workers, farm employees, farming cooperatives) Describe technological (e.g. irrigation, protection from the elements) and chemical dependence (e.g. pesticides, fertilizers) during farm production. o Why is the breakfast item produced in this region/country? When was it first produced there and under what circumstances? How is contemporary food production in that region an outcome of historical events, conditions, or practices? Does the region’s climate and terrain offer a natural advantage for producing this item? How important is this food item to the region or country’s economy? o How and where is the breakfast item processed and transported to market? Identify any characteristics of the food item that necessitate particular means of handling, processing and transportation (e.g., perishability, fragility, speed and conditions for ripening) Where are the largest markets for this item? o How is this item advertised /marketed? What images and types of language do advertisements employ? What seems to be the characteristics of the target market? What elements of the packaging convey a sense of the market for a product? • Use a base map most appropriate to your commodity (World, US, North America, etc.), and map the commodity chain from site of production, through distribution channels to your breakfast table. To Turn In: 1. A description of your average breakfast and which commodity you decided to research. 2. Typed responses to the questions posed above. 3. A scanned copy or your commodity chain map showing production locations, processing, and distribution, ending on your breakfast table.

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