Working with global supply chains to avoid or mitigate negative social and environmental impacts, particularly for companies with links in the developing world, is mainly thought of in two ways, according to the Harvard Business Review.
As humanitarian outreach. Setting up a portion of the business or the revenue to help businesswomen, local farmers or youth entrepreneurship, often coming from Corporate Social Responsibility programs. Measurement and and communication of “social value” is as important as the interventions themselves.
As the future of the company’s core business. Probably coming from questions like “where would our company source agricultural and other primary goods from, twenty years from now?,” and, “would the farmers and partners we do business with today still be there?”, and mostly “what are we doing to ensure they not only stay in business, but thrive?” An earnest long-term view (eventually) incorporates threats to the economic and natural ecosystems.
But no matter the case, or the intention, any long term intervention with expected sustainable effects on the local context needs to take a deep look at the value chains, while continuously assume and make itself accountable for its rippling effects.