BEST PRACTICES IN SOCIALLY AND ETHICALLY RESPONSIBLE SUPPLY CHAINS: AN APPLICATION IN THE FOOD INDUSTRY

Open Access
Author:
Hornibrook, Mackenzie Lynn
Area of Honors:
Supply Chain and Information Systems
Degree:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Robert Novack, Thesis Supervisor
  • John Spychalski, Honors Advisor
Keywords:
  • Social Responsibility
  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Food Industry
  • Supply Chain
  • Best Pratices
Abstract:
Increased demand for socially and ethically responsible supply chains has come from a variety of stakeholders, including employees, communities, governments, and non-governmental organizations. However, it is increasingly difficult for businesses to satisfy their goals while also taking into account the concerns of each group affected by business operations. Specifically, companies in the food industry have complex, multi-tiered supply chains that source essential commodities. Unfortunately, this complexity leads to little visibility into the operations of lower-tier suppliers and therefore, human rights abuses such as child labor, human trafficking, and forced labor occur to fulfill consumer demand. Companies may not be aware of the situation or the methods to eradicate these practices from their supply chains, however, they are still held responsible for major tragedies or unethical actions of their suppliers. Despite seemingly conflicting interests of businesses and their stakeholders, the intent of this research is to discover the best practices in Corporate Social Responsibility and provide recommendations for companies to improve their current programs. To conduct research, executives from two industry-leading companies were interviewed about their respective programs. Their responses were analyzed and compared with solutions from current literature. In conclusion, the identified best practices were mapped on the Responsibility Framework to demonstrate mutual benefit for the businesses, social issues, and communities involved. The best practices in the Framework include commodity mapping, codes of conduct, supplier auditing, and supplier development programs.