Supply Chain

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How The Market Created Lobster Mac And Cheese

The Canadian lobster industry has experienced price volatility in recent years due to an unexpectedly high volume of lobster. In Canada, environmental regulation was so successful at protecting the stock of lobster that the supply well exceeded historical landings. This unanticipated influx of product to the market along with lack-lustre demand dragged prices so low that the […]

June 12th

Patagonia’s CSR: How Is It Working Out?

  Patagonia, known for its jackets made entirely from pop bottles and their “Don’t Buy This Jacket” Cyber Monday advertising campaign, has been a leader in corporate social responsibility initiatives. We had previously profiled Patagonia’s supply chain transparency, but let’s take a look now to see how these CSR initiatives are working out. Patagonia’s Mission For those […]

May 27th

Using Crowdfunding to tell Fair Trade and Supply Chain Stories

How can Fair Trade companies tell their story in a way that’s transparent, honest, and informative? If this crowdfunded campaign is successful, it might be as easy as giving people a single, consumer-friendly point of entry for all Fair Trade organizations and companies, either on the web or via an app. “Many consumers want to […]

October 10th

What is Sustainability?

Any business, any person, can understand sustainability.  It’s not difficult, in fact it’s remarkably easy.  It’s all about give and take, and making sure you give more than you take. Is that such a terrible thing to say, to say that a business ought to create more than it absorbs?  Not just in terms of […]

February 27th

The Greatest Invention: Planned Obsolescence – Part 1

His thinking, while simple in concept, was absolutely radical, especially during the hard times of the Great Depression. If at the beginning of a factory year, General Motors were to introduce new products that might be perceived as upgrades for car-driving consumers, and if these upgrades represented something consumers might feel were essential as they climbed the economic ladder – something they needed to buy – then Sloan and his design engineers would have bet on the winning racehorse.

September 20th

Motorola Getting Proactive in the Conflict Mineral Debate

I’ve written a number of articles regarding the complexities of “conflict minerals” and the trade in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) (you can find a few here and here). And campaigns undertaken by a number of advocacy groups have really put the issue on the map. So much so that a controversial rider was […]

July 29th

Worker Treatment at Nike Twenty Years Later

In the early 1990’s Nike was unwittingly responsible for bringing factory worker treatment and supply chain issues to the forefront. This was of course many years before the “CSR movement” gained a foothold within corporate operations. And while I would not go as far as to say that it gave birth to the modern CSR […]

July 22nd

Zimbabwe Diamonds and the Kimberley Process: Round Something

For many years now, developing countries bestowed great amounts of natural resources were thought to be on a path to development based on the wealth of these resources, which are prized throughout the West.  Such resources have included oil, minerals, metals and of course diamonds.  However, almost exclusively, this potentially game-changing situation has lead to […]

July 5th