Thursday, October 17, 2019
Title: Personalizing the Supply Chain: Solidarity Networks in Coffee and Mezcal in Mexico
Abstract: In the coming years, small producers in land-based economies all over the world will face growing challenges due to climate change, market volatility, and barriers to market. This talk will discuss these problems in two contexts in the Mexican state of Oaxaca, coffee and mezcal, along with novel supply chain arrangements designed to build more intimate relationships between producers, distributors, and consumers—what I call “personalizing the supply chain.” The talk will suggest the potential of such connections to furnish buffers against vagaries of many kinds, as well as the significance of anthropological knowledge in developing them in the first place.
Bio: Doug Smith is an owner of Exo Roast Co. in Tucson. He earned a Ph.D. in Cultural and Social Anthropology from Stanford University (2004), conducting major investigations into agricultural history in several states in Mexico. He taught anthropology for ten years in several universities, finishing as an Associate Professor at Western Oregon University. He sits on the Board of Directors of both Native Seeds/SEARCH and Borderlands Restoration Network, where his central interest is to explore the potential of agave in local restoration economies.