Our purchasing decisions influence the way that supply chains develop.
Seeking the lowest price at all costs can result in supply chains with layers of hidden costs through damage to the environment and to the communities involved in that supply chain.
However, there are great examples where buyers have changed supply chains in order to deliver positive social outcomes.
One example of this has been in coffee.
When enough consumers chose to buy Fair Trade coffee, roasters altered their supply chain to accommodate demand and in so doing raised the wage levels and working conditions of coffee farmers and the communities that they live in.
As demand for Fair Trade coffee increased, production became more efficient and price declined. Fair Trade coffee now provides good coffee at competitive market prices while generating positive social outcomes.
Whether you buy for government, business or simply yourself as an individual consumer you have the power to change supply chains to generate social impact.