Page 2: Increasingly global markets
Today, lifestyles are increasingly global. If you visit an English supermarket in early summer, you will be able to buy fresh coffee beans from Zimbabwe. If you want to send fresh cut flowers in the middle of winter then they are likely to have been grown in Kenya. As never before, we live in an international economy based on the transfer of information, resources and goods around the globe. In this expanding international market place we communicate instantly and see the rapid spread of technologies to new developing markets.
The international economy exists because of the benefits trade brings. People in one country can benefit from exchanging their produce for goods and services produced elsewhere. For example, the quality of whisky produced in the Scotland is very high, due to the climate, the water, and the crops. Whisky is therefore one of the UK’s largest exports by value. At the same time, we are able to purchase a range of products which can more favourably be produced by other countries because of their climate, soils and geological structures. Every year, more goods are traded on a global scale. Many of these are highly sophisticated end products such as automobiles, compact disc players, or computers. However, many highly sophisticated products, on which we base our daily lifestyles, are produced using commodity raw materials from the beginning of the value chain.
This case study focuses on how Cargill creates the production and distribution chain for essential products at the base of the economy: corn syrup and vegetable oil, feed supplements, flour, orange juice, rock salt and many more. Cargill is one of many multi-national companies that form the core of the world’s trading system.