Title

Ancient Grains and New Markets: The Selling of Quinoa as Story and Substance

SMC Author

Aaron Sachs

SMC Affiliated Work

1

Status

Faculty

School

School of Liberal Arts

Department

Communication

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date

2017

Publication Title

Corporate Social Responsibility and Corporate Governance: Concepts, Perspectives and Emerging Trends in Ibero-America

Editor

Gómez, L. M., Vargas-Preciado, L., and Crowther, D

Publisher/Venue

Emerald Publishing Group

Description/Abstract

This chapter examines the increase in global demand for quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.) and considers the impact of such demand on the Peruvian and Bolivian farmers who produce it. Specifically, it analyzes the social media marketing of U.S. based I Heart Keenwah (IHK) and considers the role of “storied food” with respect to corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting in a Web 2.0 context. This chapter reports the results of textual, rhetorical, and cultural analyses of the digital marketing materials IHK deploys, and considers IHK’s use of Web 2.0 tools to mobilize discourses of socially responsible marketing, and implications of industrial quinoa production on Andean biodiversity and indigenous culture. This chapter principally concludes that the social media and digital marketing materials that IHK deploys obfuscate the social, economic, and ecological complexities surrounding the quinoa industries in Peru and Bolivia. This chapter provides evidence of new tendencies in capitalist commodification, and demonstrates how the traditional and indigenous protectors of the quinoa plant species are being denied their agricultural and cultural heritages. Further more, it demonstrates how the language of corporate social responsibility is abused in the service of less sustainable, branded, and extractive imaginaries and corporate profit. Given the significant rise in international quinoa demand, IHK’s explosive economic success, and IHK’s reliance on Andean quinoa, this case study provides unique insights into global food capitalism in the age of social media.

Scholarly

yes

DOI

10.1108/S2043-052320170000011012

Volume

11

First Page

251

Last Page

274

Disciplines

Arts and Humanities | Communication

Original Citation

Sachowitz, Aaron. “Corporate Social Responsibility and Corporate Governance.” in Ibero-America: Concepts, Perspectives, and Future Trends.” (eds.) Gómez, L. M., Vargas-Preciado, L., and Crowther, D. Emerald Publishing Group. 2017.

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