As we set up our supply chain, we are trying to ensure that we look first locally, then nationally, regionally, and globally. When local companies are awarded sustainable contracts, it goes a long way to making one’s immediate community more robust. It is not always commercially viable to order all materials that go into a product in that way (whether because of price or simply lack of available suppliers), and the challenge then becomes how to provide support for remote communities without using heavily exploited labour. There are no right and wrong answers in the world of global supply chain management, just complexity and degrees. We will do our best in this regard, but know we’re going to make many mistakes along the way. Hopefully, we can correct those mistakes quickly and do so in a way that doesn’t further marginalize people who experience precarious employment. Much has been written on this topic, and if you would like to find out more about the messy business of understanding these issues, there is a fine introduction in the essay “Feminist Perspectives on Globalization” available online in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:
Photo credit: “Human Powered”; Oxford, UK. © 2017, P. Friar. Used with permission.