The Global Supply Chain: Slow Progress on a Long Road

The once near-invisible activity called “supply chain” is now in the transparency spotlight. Globalization has resulted in cheaper goods, but at a high cost at the human level in recent, very public disasters and investigative reports. Many Western companies that source apparel, electronics, and other products from overseas low-wage countries are now ramping up their efforts to verify factory conditions for workers’ safety, using certifying organizations such as Intertek, SGS, Bureau Veritas, Verité, Arche Advisors, and UL Verification Services. Progress has been noted, but so have many challenges. Read more in a New York Times article that ran on Labor Day weekend, a conceptually apt publication date but one poorly timed for the wider readership this feature deserves:

John Howell, Editorial Director