"From Modern Production To Imagined Primitive", by Paige West is an ethnographic expose' of the coffee plantation system in Papua New Guinea and its effects on the indigenous population.  Using the literature of globalized commodification to locate herself, she presents a historical account of the colonization of New Guinea and the rise of coffee as a stable crop, alongside the ethnography of the Gimi people of the highland coffee producing region.  The "commodity chain" approach to understanding the global movements of commodities such as coffee highlights the links between production, distribution, and consumption in a vertical approach.  Calls for a horizontal approach  that focuses on space and place helps to understand the material effects of commodity production. The commodity circuit approach attempts to understand the social practices that move things, ideas, and people in the globalization of commodities.  Many Papua New Guineans visualize coffee production as a means of development and connection to the outside world.  The ways in which coffee production is portrayed in coffee advertising creates desires in consumers. She quotes Harvey (1989) " Flexible accumulation has been accompanied on the consumption side, therefore, by a much greater attention to quick-changing fashions and the mobilization of all the artifices of need inducement and cultural transformation that this implies.  The relatively stable aesthetic of Fordist modernism has given way to all the ferment, instability and fleeting qualities of a postmodernist aesthetic that celebrates difference, ephemerality, spectacle, fashion, and the commodification of cultural forms".  The neoliberal economic ideology of privatizing and commodifying everything has affected coffee in two major ways. "First deregulation of the global coffee market that resulted in the collapse of the International Coffee Agreement in 1989 both opened the market to specialty coffee and created the structural conditions for the current "global Coffee Crisis"... The second way that neoliberalization has affected the world of coffee is through the structural adjustment programs implemented in most coffee growing countries beginning in the late 1950s. These programs, demanded of developing countries by the International Monetary Fund(IMF) and the World Bank in exchange for debt relief, new loans, and lower interest rates were of a piece with neoliberal philosophy."  THe relationship between neoliberalism and certification, the ways images of indigenous authenticity are grafted onto certified commodities is " literally buying into a troubling set of fantasy images of Papua New Guinea that are grafted into the coffee through marketing, work to replicate dangerous ideas about indigenous people and poverty that have drastic material effects."  Another theory of accumulation by dispossession is Marx's "primitive accumulation" in which the producers become wage laborers and their land base becomes private property, causing the inequality of producers, marketers, and consumers.  Seeking a wider analysis of globalization engages both fields, consumption studies, and political ecology. Two fantasies: the pristine primitive and that of the impoverished villagers obscures the actual structural relations that give rise to poverty.  Mr. Nebraska and Dean's Beans marketing narratives engage these fictional accounts. "The global agro-food system, is known to be both ecologically and socially destructive."  Third party certification systems seek to connect consumers with coffee producers and their locations.  The power of the consumer is excersized by choosing the ecologically freindly product that makes them feel good about consuming it.  THe development of Papua New Guinea's indigenous population is seen as basically good for everyone concerned.  THe masking of actual reality in the social development of coffee producers creates its own truth for sale. International firms are controlling the marketing of coffee by use of so-called fair trade.  THe reality is that words like "organic", "natural", and "Fair Trade" have been co-opted by huge corporations that control the distribution of coffee.  Labeling certification has become a powerful ideology.  The income levels of native producers does not reflect the standard of fair trade spewed forth by the corporation marketeers.  The idea of the stone age is deeply embedded in Western Civilization, along a continuum of development from stone age to modernity.  Complicating the representation of ecologically noble savages that make just enough money to sustain their roles as producers without gaining access to all the riches of the consumer classes, marketeers graft fantasies about indigeneity held dear by the West.  Not only do they reproduce troubling stereotypical images but they "occlude the real history and political economic position of the real producers and both the social benefits and consequences of coffee production.  Quoting Kavanamur: "Despite reform efforts, the country continues to record negative growth in GDP per person and has Human Development Indicators (HDIs) that are among the lowest in the world...over a third of the population now live in absolute poverty."  THe Island contains about 10% of the total species of the planet.  The rapid intensification of all coffee agriculture causes a loss in diversity.  The Gimi people live in communion with nature, the sweet potato, and the forest.  Coffee has radically transformed both society and ecology over the past 60 years. Almost 400,000 families produce coffee in Papua New Guinea.  It is their major source, often the only source of income. The Gimi people depend on gardening, hunting, and coffee production. THeir very being is their relationship with plants and animals.  Coffee is a foreign invader and has caused an increase in individualism at the expence of community.  As this human drama unfolds the concerns of the indigenous are relegated to stereotypical representations of marketeers to satisfy the consumer demands of the west.   
Questions: What can consumers do to change the lives of the Gimi people? What can corporations do? What can governments do?

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