Far from sight, close to the heart?

The move towards a better understanding of supply chains and the origins of products is predicated on a number of assumptions about the value of that information. Firms are told they should know where things come in order to manage their costs, control their risks, or secure a social license to operate. But beyond that, companies are also told that there is value in providing consumers with information about the origin of products. And while evidence exists that consumers may, in some situations, be prepared to pay over the odds for products which are sourced far away, there is also the perception of a growing preference for goods sourced closer to home. The relationship between distance and value remains unclear, but longer supply chains could spell increased risk of consumer backlash.

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