By Stefan Ouma
Assembling Export Markets explores the recent frontierregions of the worldwide clean produce industry that has emergedin Ghana during the last decade. * Represents an enormous and empirically wealthy contribution to theemerging box of the social experiences of economization andmarketization * deals one of many first ethnographic money owed at the making ofglobal commodity chains from lower than * Denaturalizes international markets by means of unpacking their localengagement, materially entangled development, want formaintenance, and fragile personality * deals a trans-disciplinary engagement with the constructionand extension of marketplace family in frontier areas of globalcapitalism * severely examines the possibilities and dangers for companies andfarms in Ghana coming into worldwide clean produce markets
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Additional resources for Assembling Export Markets: The Making and Unmaking of Global Food Connections in West Africa
How to integrate farmers into global organic markets, when they had never been exposed to their workings before? How to gain access to land and render it an accessible production factor in a region where land is still held as a communal property? How also to invoke the responsibilities of the contract, the responsibilities of producer and buyer, of debtor and creditor, in order to recover the huge investment the company had made through loans granted to the farmers? These are only some of the practical problems that lie at the heart of market‐making in northern Ghana; similar problems could be outlined for the frontier region in Ghana’s south, where the local Smooth Cayenne pineapple variety has to be turned into a just‐in‐time pineapple that meets the standards of the world’s most demanding retailers.
P (now the largest private agricultural food safety and quality scheme in the world), environmental, social, ethical, fair trade, and corporate social responsibility (CSR) standards, or various benchmarking and accounting tools, are all templates for formatting sociotechnical associations in contemporary agrifood markets (Larner & LeHeron 2004; Freidberg 2007; Ouma 2010), a point that will be explored in detail later. One could even imagine the proliferation of new supply chain management (SCM) models over the past two decades as instantiating new modes of performing global market relations, replacing the spot‐market relations of earlier times (Busch 2007).
Yet these models, as abstract as they may be, do not operate outside the realm of reality but at the same ontic level. They are firmly part of the world they envision. They may have effects “even if the users of the system don’t believe the model, don’t understand it, or even don’t know that it exists. Economics is embodied in procedures and physical artifacts, not just in ideas” (MacKenzie 2009a: 13; see also Elyachar 2005: 5). In empirical terms, at the heart of an SSEM program, then, lies the “studying up” of “all the theoretical and practical, expert and lay knowledge, know‐how and skills developed and mobilized” (Çalışkan & Callon 2010: 19) in the process of designing, implementing, maintaining, and reproducing market arrangements.
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