Forging linkages in the commodity chain: The case of the Chilean salmon farming industry, 1987-2001

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In this paper we use the global commodity chain perspective to analyse the Chilean salmon farming industry. This industry reflects current shifts in the global agro-food sector in that food distribution and retail sectors assume a significant role at the ‘back-end’ of the farmed salmon global commodity chain. Economic concentration is also occurring along the ‘front-end’ of the chain; foreign fish feed capital is integrating forwards into production and thereby assuming greater influence. This is matched by greater economic concentration by foreign and local salmon farming companies in the middle of the chain. Local capital is meeting the challenge of foreign capital by using flexible strategies in the service sector of the salmon farming industry. We also discuss the impact of the farmed salmon global commodity chain on class and gender relations at the point of production. In our conclusions, we discuss the limitations of the global commodity chain perspective as well as the consequences of salmon farming for livelihoods in rural Chile.