Ethics of Nestle

Today’s business requires social responsibility and excellent performance of companies. Ethical responsibility is the integrative element of social responsibility that is destined to satisfy costumers’ demands. In this context, there appear ethical problems of company’s business that can lower an ethical rating of a company and reduce its popularity among people (potential customers). Even multinational world companies have low ratings, and that is why are vulnerable to be blamed in unethical behavior.

It seems to be necessary to examine ethics of one of the multinational world companies to understand its ethical criteria and rate them. Nestle’s company can be one of the examples to be illustrated: “in 1977, Nestle got embroiled in a controversy, when it was criticized for using unethical marketing practices endangering consumer health to promote its infant formula in developing nation”. [1] Since that time, this company was constantly criticized for unethical behavior and violation of costumers’ rights.

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The research in the sphere of Nestle’s ethics shows that the company has lots of low-rated ethical criteria to be accused of. Genetically modified (GM) food would not be an asset for many costumers. According to Lawrence’s on-line article, this company has overcharged prices that can not be accessible for the low-income group of people in the world. For example, the cost of the produced “Pure Life”, bottled water, is outrageously high for the Asian people for whom potable water is extremely necessary.[2] Moreover, in the article, unfair labor practices were illustrated with examples. Coffee beans and cocoa in Nestle’s company are the result of hard work of those who get them on African plantations. The author says that unfavorable working conditions and people’s exploitation with a child’s labor worsen the image of the company and proves its unethical attitude towards workers.[3]

Ethical standards exist in each world organizations and nonconformity may affect badly on company’s reputation. Nestle’s experience has proved that the company is lack of respecting of human rights and local regulations (laws for permission or prohibition of something) that can satisfy minimal demands of customers and workers. To be honest with the costumers is one of the unwritten ethical duties of all the companies. Maintenance of ethical standards satisfies costumers’ needs and makes them happy:

“As “happiness” is the only thing that is good in and of itself, the utilitarian needs to know the details of a situation and its possible consequences in order to decide what is ethically right and wrong”[4].

The author of the cited article is talking about ethical behavior in reference to consumers. Nestle does not label GM ingredients of the products; consequently, can customers give credence to the company? The ethical code of this company should correspond to individual human rights and ethical attitude to customers they want to satisfy. Meanwhile, the company sets itself up with well-thought publicity, and shows attractive pictures of the products as if they measure up all the consumer’s needs.

If we proceed from the stated above the following table can show the ethical rating of Nestle’s company, where one can see the ethical criteria and their possible consumers’ evaluations; A=excellent, B=good, C=adequate, D=requiring major improvement, F=failure.

External image of the company in the worldA
Vended business’ ethical principlesB
Respecting of human rightsC
Ethical attitude to customersD
Ethical attitude to workersD
High priced of necessary productsD
Not labeled GM foodF

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