This paper examines the use of geographical identities as a specific tool for value-adding in agricultural produce, presenting the case of specialty coffee production in South Sulawesi, Indonesia. The study is based on ethnographic research in 21 villages of four major coffee producing districts in 2002 to 2003, with follow up visits in 2005 and 2006. The paper reveals that the potential for producer-driven geographical indications compete with corporate-driven quality constructions, where the later are able to appropriate place-related quality associations by using trademarks, vertical integration and tightly coordinated supply chain controls. An emergent politic of quality governance and ownership in global commodity chains reveals the highly restricted institutional terrain within which growers of specialty coffee might attempt to retain a higher share of the economic rent associated with quality production.
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Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography 28, 188-204.