The Birds’ Nest Commodity Chain Between Sarawak and China

  • Daniel Chew
  • Yu Xin
  • Ryoji Soda
  • Tetsu Ichikawa
  • Noboru Ishikawa
Part of the Advances in Asian Human-Environmental Research book series (AAHER)


This chapter explores the commodity chain in edible birds’ nests between Sarawak and China. The nests are a highly sought and prized culinary product believed to have health and therapeutic benefits. The framework of the commodity chain is analysed through relationships and networks that have historical roots, and are embedded in economic, social and cultural contexts. Birds’ nests are collected in Sarawak, and traded and consumed in China, including Hong Kong, and wherever the Chinese diaspora resides. These economic transactions have social underpinnings in addition to the birds’ nests cultural value and status for ethnic Chinese. Due to the high monetary stakes involved in trading, political implications involving governments have come to the fore, which have both positive and negative impacts on the commodity chain.


Sarawak Birds’ nests Commodity chain China Hong Kong Trade 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel Chew
    • 1
  • Yu Xin
    • 2
  • Ryoji Soda
    • 3
  • Tetsu Ichikawa
    • 4
  • Noboru Ishikawa
    • 5
  1. 1.Independent ResearcherKota SamarahanAustralia
  2. 2.Institute for Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social ScienceChongqing UniversityChongqingChina
  3. 3.Graduate School of Literature and Human SciencesOsaka City UniversityOsakaJapan
  4. 4.Nagoya City UniversityNagoyaJapan
  5. 5.Center for Southeast Asian StudiesKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan

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