What do cobalt, coffee and diamonds have in common?
At the beginning of this millennium, consumer buying habits have changed. Morality has become marketable, and marketers have quickly deprived of moral value from the choices of true consumers. For example, they have received considerable criticism based on the integrity of the supply chain and the overall long-term impact. Similar campaigns have led them to try to block sales of \"blood diamonds\" (or \"conflict diamonds. The diamonds were used to fund various military operations, resulting in multiple atrocities across the African continent, which children often mine in harsh conditions. These systems are widely referred to as moral consumerism, which many would consider contradictory in itself. However, both efforts have achieved some success. The success of these systems can be attributed to the different types of requirements utilized by the two systems. Global demand is growing, whether it\'s coffee or diamonds. In 2017, global demand for uncut diamonds was estimated at $22 billion. In contrast, in the United States alone, coffee shop sales exceeded $23 billion. This does not include the sale of instant coffee, which uses nearly 50 kinds of green coffee in the world. But just considering the financial implications of these goods, we can only see a fraction of their value. To a large extent, diamonds become the ultimate expression of eternal love. The campaign uses subtle strategies to see celebrities initially show their love with a diamond ring, the size of which corresponds to the power of their love. Behind the campaign, by controlling almost the entire industry from mines to Jewelers, artificial value is created for diamonds. The value of this man constitutes the foundation of an industry now worth billions of dollars. Similarly, coffee purchased from a coffee shop is used as a product at a price that is not proportional to the cost. . The typical resale price is around $3, while farmers who harvest beans earn less than $0. 01. This is relevant because the added value in the supply chain ultimately determines which society benefits from the added value. Coffee and diamonds are typically produced in developing countries. Once extracted, the product will be refined and added value in a developed country that is also consumed. This ensures that any added value of the product occurs outside the economic system of the original countries, which further limits their ability to reform the toxic industries. Due to the lack of supervision, human rights violations are widespread when raw materials are mined or harvested. These harsh working conditions allow large multinationals to operate in an illegal way in the EU or the United States, and doing so will greatly increase profit margins. These illegal practices include child labor and slave labor, mining practices that undermine the environment (in the case of mineral extraction) and deliberate instability by the government to ensure that they continue. Despite the lack of willingness to change in related industries and the lack of local government capacity to promote reform, public sentiment began to shift in early 1990. A broader radical movement brought moral consumerism into the mainstream. Consumers are beginning to demand products produced in a responsible manner. To meet this demand, including the above-mentioned fair trade and Kimberley Process, initiatives have begun to emerge. Those critical of these systems noted that while they may have addressed some of the more blatant human rights violations in their respective supply channels; They have done very little to address the basic development nature of these manufacturing systems. The way these products are extracted, refined and taxed ensures that while workers\' living standards may have been substantially improved, the society in which they live will continue to suffer. The failure of these systems can serve as a warning for the next large-scale redistribution of wealth from Africa to developed countries. Most people reading this may have done so on a device that requires battery power from this rare metal; cobalt. Cobalt needs to produce lithium-ion batteries that are used for the vast majority of our portable electronics and are the basis for electric vehicles to be used for personal transportation soon. The Democratic Republic of Congoand also produces a large number of uncut diamonds in the world. A large number of human rights violations previously observed in the diamond mining industry are now linked to the production of cobalt. Child labor was observed in multiple mines and working conditions were extremely poor. It is estimated that more than 100,000 cobalt miners in the Congo are using manual tools to extract ore and drop narrow mines with little ventilation. Death from respiratory problems and injuries is common. Similar to coffee production, local labor is often exploited. Due to widespread corruption in the country, efforts to create traceable supply chains are difficult. Similarly to coffee and diamonds, raw materials are exported in an unprocessed form, ensuring that the local economy receives the least amount of wealth. More urgent instant comparisons are also obvious. As public sentiment shifts, businesses are now taking action to address supply chain issues that could harm their brands. This was previously considered to be an attempt to keep a distance from suppliers after a general violation of workers\' rights. Recently, for better brands and for better market control, it can take advantage of greater control over the supply chain. Given the exponential growth in global demand, Apple has seen how confusing cobalt mining will become and learned from coffee and diamonds. Over the past decade, global demand for lithium-ion batteries has risen sharply due to the surge in personal electronics. This is reflected in the companies of the main producers of these batteries. In the past, companies related to portable devices, for example, have developed considerable expertise and capabilities in lithium-ion production. However, current estimates predict that the technology will grow rapidly due to its application in electrified personal transport. For example, Tesla plans to use all lithium-ion batteries equivalent to those produced in 2016 in cars in 2018. This is reflected in the fact that once built, it will become the largest manufacturing plant in the world. However, this will require a large amount of cobalt and there has been an increasing demand. Supply will increase as demand increases. But can it grow rapidly to meet our rapidly growing needs? Last year, global production exceeded 100,000 tons for the first time, and it is expected to grow at about 11 percent per year in the next decade. If the current trend continues, demand will continue to grow faster than supply. In the long run, there seems to be a great possibility of global shortages. Analysts now believe that a major factor in deciding which electric car manufacturers will dominate the market over the next few decades will be who will be able to ensure the continued supply of cobalt. This will allow major manufacturers to bypass traditional supply companies, deal more directly with mine suppliers, and possibly even build a shared enterprise in terms of extracting these materials. Similar to the historical model observed in coffee and diamond production, as commodities become more valuable and do not develop enough structures for their exploitation, the likelihood of exploitation of local workers and the economy increases. We hope to reduce carbon emissions by using electric vehicles, which will inevitably lead to children working and dying in harsh environments. The simple answer is No. Although cobalt production in other countries is limited, production in the Democratic Republic of the Congo exceeds 60%. Given the current imbalance between supply and demand and the projected increase in this imbalance, it is not feasible to exclude all cobalt produced in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. At the same time, as the price of cobalt doubled, the international mining company is carrying out a campaign. However, not all cobalt is equal, and certain companies offer better working conditions, although \"better\" is a very low standard compared to child labor. As consumers, we can make choices that provide economic incentives to producers. In addition, we can lobby the government for supply chain accountability. As mentioned earlier, Apple has seen this emerging imbalance and has taken action. Sadly, unless you don\'t have a portable electronic device, the short answer here is yes.