To read this content please select one of the options below:

Chapter 1 Labor in global commodity chains: The organization of labor in export grape

Globalization and the Time–Space Reorganization

ISBN: 978-0-85724-317-1, eISBN: 978-0-85724-318-8

Publication date: 24 February 2011


This chapter illustrates how labor is organized in a branch of export-grape production in the São Francisco valley, North East Brazil. It describes how Northern retailers' corporate strategy involves continually improving product quality, and how grape producers respond to evolving demands by attempting to increase the skill content of labor and labor productivity. Simultaneously, relatively militant rural trade unions organize agricultural workers in the region, often staging strikes, achieving significant gains for workers, and continually attempting to improve their position vis-à-vis capital. As a response, farms go to significant lengths to recruit, retain, and discipline workers they consider to be good and relatively uninfluenced by trade unions. It is argued that in order to better understand strategies of firms and developmental outcomes in new regions of export agriculture it is necessary to pursue a three-pronged investigation, focusing simultaneously.


Selwyn, B. (2011), "Chapter 1 Labor in global commodity chains: The organization of labor in export grape", Bonanno, A. and Salete Barbosa Cavalcanti, J. (Ed.) Globalization and the Time–Space Reorganization (Research in Rural Sociology and Development, Vol. 17), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 35-64.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited