Most products consumed within the NAFTA region are produced and distributed through low cost supply chains that do not reveal certain types of information to end consumers. Without this information it is difficult for consumers to assess the quality of the products they buy or exercise their preferences for safe, environmentally sustainable, and economically just products and services. This project aims to create a data interoperability framework to support the provision of a wide range of certification information about how, where, and by whom products are manufactured and brought to market. This includes information about “green” supply chains or production methods, wages paid to producers or workers in the supply chain, working conditions, environmental impact, or a wide range of other information about the products that they purchase can be delivered to consumers.
The knowledge gained through constructing such framework will inform a wide range of future collaborations in terms of how to create a trusted environment where incentives for collaboration and competition are complementary, not mutually exclusive. The study is relevant for a wide range of actors who are already experimenting with new forms of collaboration as well as wide range of topic areas such as environment, health or education.