Labor & the Raw Materials Supply Chain

Unlike factory-based supply chains, companies with raw materials supply chains are confronted from the outset by the most difficult issues of human development: poverty, migration, and gender inequality.

Verité understands first-hand the context in which these issues occur. We work with companies, governments, trade unions, investors, civil society, and the people themselves — the farmers, pickers, and fishermen — to drive change from the bottom up.

Raw materials supply chains are comprised largely of impoverished, geographically dispersed, itinerant smallholder farmers, migrant day laborers, and artisanal miners. Traditional auditing does not work under these conditions, nor is it a cost-effective approach to improving conditions. Solutions must go beyond consumer-facing approaches like labeling and certifying. Making significant improvements requires unique expertise and collaboration with all stakeholders. Fish workers

Helping to solve these complex issues is Verité’s strength. We use people-centric approaches because lasting supply chain improvements require broad participation. We gather valuable information from people at the beginning of the supply chain and leverage it to help corporations implement positive change.

In the context of raw materials, solving problems requires companies to find partners who can help them use the right mix of the following strategies:

  • Conducting assessments of internal policies and practices

  • Convening credible multi-stakeholder dialogues

  • Navigating the multiple compliance, traceability, certification, and reporting schemes

  • Implementing robust grievance mechanisms

  • Building capacity (internally, suppliers, communities, etc.)

  • Assessing risk through grassroots information gathering and policy research

  • Mapping and analyzing supply “eco-systems”

Read about our recent Raw Materials initiatives here.