Fair Trade smartphones ?

An article in the Financial Times (May 9, 2013) describes a Dutch company, Fairphone, that intends to create a smartphone using a “Fair Trade” supply chain. This means the phone is recyclable, can be repaired, the supply chain will minimize frequent design changes, minimize order changes etc. The hope is to create better working conditions for employees etc. If consumers sign up to buy the 325 euro Fairphone, then the spotlight will be on the supply chain and its practices to ensure that it delivers on the Fair Trade claim. Will a spotlight on the supply chain enable consumer demand generation ? Will the current focus on worker suicides at Foxconn, recycling issues for electronics etc build a consumer desire for such supply chain monitoring ? How might Fairphone assure consumers of their Fairtrade claims ?

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About aviyer2010

Professor
This entry was posted in Global Contexts, Operations Management, Supply Chain Issues and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Fair Trade smartphones ?

  1. Hopefully the Fairphone will raise more interest in e-waste recycling among consumers, who will still need to find a place to recycle some components of their phones (and, hopefully, their other e-waste). Maybe this will lead to companies setting up more efficient electronics recycling logistics initiatives to re-use rare earth metals.

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