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Apple, Inc. and Food February 13, 2012

Posted by sandyclaus in Uncategorized.
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Apple, Inc, the makers of ipads and ipods, has been facing criticism for the behavior of its suppliers. They have recently started a program to clean up those suppliers:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-13/apple-says-fair-labor-association-will-inspect-suppliers-including-foxconn.html

I find this really interesting because of the similar way in which the food supply chain dominates agriculture and what you can buy. Bad practices are cloned and expanded if they offer a business advantage, and there is little you can do to stop it. It is part of the “system,” and if you opt out of that system, you will be criticized.

Apple shows a pretty good way to respond. If they roll through with demands for changes in labor practices, we could see things much improved in that industry. Imagine of Walmart took a similar stand on food labeling and farm practices. You’ve seen them start to dabble in it, because when you become the biggest, you take ownership of the “system’s” problems, be they in corn chips or computer chips.

Also, here are a few of the other companies using Foxconn’s services that have not asked for an independant audit of labor practices: Acer Inc., Amazon.com, AS Rock, Asus, Barnes & Noble, Cisco, Dell, EVGA Corporation, Hewlett Packard, Intel, IBM, Lenovo, Logitech, Microsoft, MSI, Motorola, Netgear, Nintendo, Nokia, Panasonic, Philips, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, Ericsson, Toshiba, and Vizio.

Part of my locavorism comes from a desire not to feed a system of abusive farm labor. There is a point to be made here. If you won’t accept these labor standards in your iphone, why are they OK for your chicken?

 

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