Although I’m not a fan of drinking Coca-Cola (my heart belongs to lemon, lime and bitters) I can’t help but stand in awe of its global dominance. Not only is it recognised as a world-leader in financial terms, but also in relation to its mass-recognition. Coca-Cola has become such a well-known brand across the world – so much so that today the term ‘coca-colonisation’ is used to describe the spread of perceived ‘western values’ via globalisation, just as Coca-Cola has spread to the farthest corners of the planet.
Yes, we can applaud the success of Coca-Cola, and the thousands of other corporations that have indeed benefited from globalisation since the late 1960s. Yet when a child in a developing country has access to an iPhone but not safe drinking water, surely there’s a problem? Have western consumers turned a blind eye to the issues engrained within the idea of globalisation, and global production? In 2015, Nike’s global revenue was approximately AUD$40.1 billion – yet they have been reportedly producing their clothes and shoes in sweatshops since the 1970s.
It appears that we as consumers ignore the victims of globalisation, prioritising instead the endless production of goods and services churned out through the globalisation machine. The discussion revolves around ‘iPhone versus Android’, rather than ‘commodified convenience versus humanity’.
Consumers = power; our actions as consumers within the global market can be a real force for change. This site is really useful, as it gives a concise breakdown of each company and brand, and how they rate in terms of fair trade and ethical production.
A short video (I promise), worth watching for its comedic take on the future of Apple.