A few weeks ago, Apple released their quarterly smelter list. This document attempts to provide an accounting of all the smelters in Apple’s supply chain. Even if your supply chain is small and simple, tracking down the source of each mineral of each component in your product would be a difficult task; for a chain as broad and complex as Apple’s is, it must be nearly impossible.
But still, they try. By publishing this list, Apple hopes to move us closer to a world where every iPad and iPhone is certified to be completely free of conflict. This is an important goal, but progressing towards that goal—tracking down all those smelters, assessing their practices and ultimately ensuring that all parties involved are treated fairly—will undoubtedly be expensive. Who will put in the legwork? Who will ultimately shoulder the costs? Who SHOULD shoulder the costs
What do you think?