Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 14:24
Location: Hörsaal 50 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Josefa Salete B CAVALCANTI, Federal University of Pernambuco, Brazil
Evander Eloi KRONER, Federal University of Pernambuco, Brazil
Agriculture and food are some of the most globalized economic sectors. The corporate search for convenient factors and conditions of production illustrate new and, often more exploitative, labor relations. The growing demand for quality products has materialized in recent decades from processes such as certification of local products, geographical indications and quality labels that emphasize aspects such as good agricultural practices, tradition, identity and territoriality of food. Local food is part of global value chains in which farmers are subordinate to the power of large multinational companies. These companies control the production and ways of producing food by imposing strict quality standards that directly affect the structuring of production, labor relations and local regional dynamics. Fruit production in the São Francisco Valley, Brazil, is a case in point. In this region of Northeast Brazil, multinational companies, supermarket chains, third part certification bodies and large retailers interfere with new regulations on fruit production. However, these new forms of control over local production are involved in a bulk of relations enmeshed in socio-economic contradictions.  For example, increasing forms of labor exploitation: Laborers work longer for less pay, perform tasks that are more sophisticated, mostly under temporary contracts, and experience new and more advanced forms of control; and a large number of small family farms, excluded from the global markets, become simple providers for large producers. The purpose of this article is to discuss and analyze the contradictions and processes found in quality production system in the São Francisco Valley to understand how the controls exercised by the hegemonic organizations of the global food system affects the structuring of production and social relations, but does not immediately translate into better labor relations in the global South.