Why are we so hung up about ethical sourcing of coffee??
What about the electronics industry, and shoes, rare earth minerals, and many others?
Who bears the responsibility for the conditions of workers in the supply chains of successful businesses.?
Apple is the biggest, most profitable company the planet has seen, but the depredations in the supply chain at Foxxcon are well known.
If the labour cost of an iPad is, as has been calculated, less than $15, adding a few dollars onto the price to lift wages would do little to damp the demand, or indeed, Apple could make a few dollars less, reducing its whopping billions in cash flow by a miniscule amount, but would it be a few dollars less?.
A significant number, albeit a small percentage, of coffee drinkers appear willing to pay a bit extra for the “ethical” badge, surely the same would be the case with an iPad, fancy shoes girls cannot walk in, and many other product categories where differentiation is a key challenge. Benneton does, why not others?.