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Chiquita Brands Inc - Research Paper Example

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Chiquita Brands: Corporate Ethics Introduction Corporate ethics grew from the radical concept that business was meant not only for itself (Friedman in Duska, 2007) and its owners but for the planet at large. It is no longer business for business’ sake but for the sake of all stakeholders…
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Chiquita Brands Inc
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Download file to see previous pages Corporate Ethics The strategy for business ethics in Chiquita Brands was begun in 1998 when the company engaged the professional services of SmithOBrien to craft and implement a CSR policy for the company. The first comprehensive CSR report was released in 2004. (SmithOBrien website). Chiquita Brands’ corporate commitment speaks of the corporate values of integrity, respect, opportunity and responsibility as the embodiment of what they are and what they do. The company defines integrity as ethical and lawful business communicated in an open and straightforward manner (Kotler and Lee, 2005). Respect is seen as fair and respectable treatment of people. They recognize that the growth and development of their employees is the key to the company’s success. They take pride in their services and make sure that these exceed customer expectations. As much as they uphold the primacy of their customers, they recognize that their accountability is to all stakeholders, including employees, suppliers, shareholders, communities and the world. (Chiquita website). At Chiquita Brands, corporate social responsibility is an integral part of their global business strategy. They make it a point to live up to the requirements of SA 8000, one of the more credible and verifiable social accountability standards (developed by Social Accountability International), by regularly including the SAI assessment in their corporate responsibility reports. Their openness on issues about their social, environmental and financial performance is highlighted in these reports. (Chiquita website). As part of their pursuit of these corporate commitments, Chiquita Brands has implemented an anti-retaliation policy to encourage the reporting or raising of concerns about potential misconduct and other ethical issues. This policy is available in six key languages to make sure it is understood by employees, contractors and vendors in most Chiquita locations. (Chiquita website). CSR Issues Involving Chiquita Brands Notwithstanding the implementation of a corporate responsibility policy sometime after 1998, a number of violations or infringements resembling CSR violations have been reported and documented involving Chiquita Brands. On of these was the conviction of Chiquita Brands in 2007 by a US court of illegal financial dealing with Colombian terrorists in the form of “protection money” during the period 2001-2004. $25 Million Fine The court slapped a fine of $25 Million and five-year probation, and was required to hire a permanent compliance officer. Under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, the fine would have been almost $100 Million, but the court rendered a much lesser penalty in consideration of Chiquita’s self-disclosure and full cooperation (Annual Report 2010). The situation in Colombia is atypical of businesses engaged in landed estates for their production, as in banana production. Where the country is under-developed and the economy is struggling, this would have been an ideal location to operate a wide-area plantation because of the low cost of agricultural work (Vellema, 1999). Protection Money Most such areas, however, are characterized by the presence of insurgents who are also members of the local community and who feed on instigating for peasant rights, as in Panama and the Philippines (Vellema, 1999). There is no way an organization ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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