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Dealing with the role of international multilateral organization and media in the changing attitudes of stakeholders towards Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), the first question is "What is CSR?" According to Paul A. Argenti, Corporate Social Responsibility is the term that describes the activity or act of companies to win the trust and loyalty of constituents and also constitutes an organization's respect for society's interest. Based on that, the international multilateral organization and media have the important position in the changing attitudes of stakeholders towards CSR but why it happens? To answer this question, let's delve into this topic.
II. International Multilateral Organizations:
The international multilateral organizations that are the importance role to companies are Fair Trade, RugMark and Forest Stewardship Council. These organizations are doing the protection about legal interest and life of people and society that are effected by the operation of companies around the world.
Fair Trade Labeling Organization:
Fair Trade is an organization that facilitates for a good cooperation between producers and workers; suppliers and wholesalers and it also secures the legal interest for stakeholders. This organization ensures the development, existence of society, economic, environment for the producers. The products that are listed in the Fair Trade products belong to the different kinds of goods such as Weaving and Stitching goods, jewelery, ornaments, handicrafts, domestic goods, agricultural goods, etc. Moreover, Fair Trade also resists for the enlargement and the unfairness in business of the multinational companies. Fair Trade has 4 standards to come to fair trade of FLO ( Fairtrade Labeling Organization). The first standard is business must to do to develop society. FLO requires producers must to prove the income which comes from fair trade will actuate economic development and help people to improve their lives. The second standard is business must to develop the economy. The third standard is business must to protect the natural environment and the last standard is laboring requirements. Using child labor or forced labor seems to be illegal.
In developing countries such as Thailand, North Korea, Vietnam, India, etc., Fair Trade supports the producers by fixing the price of their products and also facilitates to improve the ability of workers, increase the production and stimulate market up to the higher level. Beside that, it also supports investor to reinvest into that area instead of specialization. For evidence, in India, a company is built to support farmers improve their lives, named Shop for Change. With the slogan "Empowering farmers and artisans to improve their lives through fair trade", Shop for Change is trying to improve the lives of Indian farmers by supporting them to sell their products with Fair Trade prices. This is the company that creates the first fair trade certification label for Indian farmers. Commonly, agricultural goods such as coffee and tea are produced in developing countries and exported and consumed in developed countries with the cheap price. Because of that matter, Shop for Change has fixed the price of these products and encouraged Indians who are in middle or high class to buy these products with a higher price than exported price to assist Indian farmers. Media that support Shop for Change to do their business is their website www.shopforchange.in , and they also connect with their customers via radio.
In developed countries such as US, UK, Canada, etc., Fair Trade appeals people to buy the products with a higher price to assists the producers in developing countries, and then, this organization will improve the product's quality to suitable with the price that consumer must to pay for it, For evidence, in US, Dunkin's Donuts is the famous name of coffee retailer with 2.7 million cup of coffee everyday and 30 cups in every second. Dunkin' Donut is well known with a kind of coffee, Espresso. This brand is the first brand in US supplies Espresso which made from Fair Trade marked coffee bean. Dunkin' Donuts supports the farmers who are Dunkin's supplier by purchasing their products with Fair Trade prices. Thereby, farmers can increase their incomes to ensure for their lives and can also invest to the better harvest seasons. Customers to Dunkin' Donuts for a cup of "Fair Trade Espresso" are almost know this detail from magazine and internet. Dunkin' Donuts is a famous brand name in US and it customer are businessman so this brand will issue the attached flyers in business magazines or update their information on internet where businessmen who also care of Fair Trade can know that. It can not deny the importance of "Fair Trade Espresso" in non-stop development of this company.
Employment of children is an illegal behavior of companies around the world. However, the state of employing children still exists not only in developing countries but also in developed countries. The reasons why producers prefer child labor to adult labor are the cost of child labor is cheap and they don't claim for too much interest like adult. The other point is children can work in more than 10 hours running without any oppositions or demonstrations. In other side, children who must to work from the young age are the Poor with the dearth lives and no education. They must to earn their's living so working in manufactures with the very low salary and over labor power is obvious thing. According to a statistic of ILO, in 1995, there were about 250 million child labor who in the age of 5-14; 120 million children in that number were working fulltime and be paid very cheap. This condition is happening everyday in the world, especially in rug making industry in India. To against this situation, a nonprofit organization named RugMark is established to enlarge the knowledge of community about child labor and support those children to improve their lives and help them to go to school. Because of the development of technology and telecommunication which Internet is typical, every product that is marked by RugMark will be introduced to consumers at www.rugmarkindia.org . A prestige and long-standing Indian company in rug making industry, Jaipur Rug Company, is the typical evidence that follows RugMark soon. Doing CSR, Jaipur Rug Company built the modern rug making system instead of using child labor. Beside that, Jaipur also support worker to improve their lives and help their children to go to school.
Forest Stewardship Council:
The other problem that not only businesses but also society must to face is environment. According to Greenpeace, an non-governmental organization that voice for environmental protection, consumers can choose forest products with the confidence that they are not contributing to the destruction of the world's forests (Forest Stewardship Council, Wikipedia). Be believed as a prestige and world wide organization, Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is non-governmental organization that is created to manage and preserve all kinds of forests such as natural forests, planting forests, temperate zone forests or even rainforests. Besides the strategies to protect forests, FSC also issue the certification for
businesses or producers whose products are made from quality and non-destruction woods. In USA, there is a furniture company that supplies all home wood appliances named The Home Depot U.S.A., Inc. This inc has joined FSC and has been selling the hundred million items of FSC certified wood products. According to its website, The Home Depot USA has bought wood from practice responsible forestry company instead of questionable resources. In two year, 2006 and 2007, this company sold more than 400,000,000 items of FSC certified wood products. 95% of material of these items of product from North America, the others are from Europe, South America, especially in Brazil, and Asia. Together with The Home Depot USA, FSC is contributing to protect not only endangered forest but also nature environment. Besides, they are also trying to do as much as possible to ensure the timber quantity for the next generations. In other side, FSC also support The Home Depot USA to boost the sustainable forest and maintain the abundance of forestry through education and information sharing via media channels. As the result for their efforts, during 10 years from 1999 to 2008, almost of their suppliers have understood and being practiced to secure and maintain the forestry throughout the world.
Besides, there is other illustration about the influence of multilateral organizations to stakeholders. In the last years of 1990's, Greenpeace initiated a protest to against with the food grains products for babies from a company of USA named Gerber. Gerber was one of the first baby food makers and I kept almost 70% of market. Based on that, Gerber was deemed as the prestige and old standing baby food supplier and consumer totally trusted in Gerber's products. Triggering of this protest is the "genetically modified "in food grains for babies. The detection of pesticides and "genetically modified" in ingredient of baby products was recognized as the harmfulness for baby's health. The question was set that why Greenpece chose Gerber company instead of other one that is running in the same industry. In Europe, people want and like to purchase the GM free products, especially for their babies. Europeans always attach special importance to the organic food to protect their health. Unlike to Europeans, Americans do not do the same thing. After result of the test was public, sale of Gerber was dropped out too fast. In August 2001, Gerber's market in Philippines also got the same results with USA. The conferences were happened to discuss about this problem and reported in to public. With the existence of pesticides and herbicides in Gerber's products for baby, stakeholders did change their recognizations in make the standard of product, especially baby's products, and give the alert for producer not to make the unethical products. Beside that, this scandal makes consumer should make the better choice of product for their children.
Going abreast with the effectiveness and support of organizations to companies in their changing attitudes, Media is also an important tool to help companies be successful in doing CSR. Media is not only a tool to share information but also connects stakeholders and does marketing. For example of the largest Vietnamese milk supplier which is known as Vinamilk. This company is doing CSR with the project which is cooperation with The National Fund for Vietnamese Children (NFVC) to create the Milk Fund which is named "Never Stop Growing" for poor children and they have donated about 12 billion VND for this fund via buying their products or SMS. Because of the development of media channels such as internet or television, Vinamilk Company has shared all information of this fund wider. Not only stop sharing their CSR information on internet which especially is their website at www.vuoncaovietnam.com, Vinamilk also strengthens to share their program to customer by celebrating a live charity concert. In this concert, all guest ticket's price will be extracted into "Never Stop Growing" Fund and the singers' salaries will also be extracted. There are so many journalists who come from different newspaper houses and there are so many articles about this program which will be publish on those newspapers. Based on that, media make customers come closer to companies and it also support too much for the success of those companies. Another typical evidence for the importance of media in the changing attitude of company is the scandal of Vedan Company which poisoned the large river, Thi Vai and suffered damage for so many local people. After the years chasing for evidence, the investigators caught this company up. When the fact is gotten into the brightness and media channels public reports about this scandal, the indispensable result is all products of Vedan are run out demand. Moreover, people are indignant with Vendan and what they did to environment although they always show up the slogan of environmental protection. A group of people even create a fan-page on Facebook network with the name of "I Hate Vedan" with the hundred members. In general, almost stakeholders think doing CSR just makes benefit for employees and customer. In fact, doing CSR is not only make benefit for employees and customer but also for company. The reason why almost stakeholders just think of that is they do not know enough information about CSR. This is the fault of company and that's why media channels is called as savior of companies that are doing CSR. To make consumer always think of your products as the first choice in there alternatives, you must to do marketing and PR strategies to make products come closer to consumer. Media is the best choice for companies to do product marketing and PR inconspicuously and give consumer more attractiveness to purchase their products.
Media does not only bind the customer to company but also do with employee and company. That function is called "internal media". Internal media diffuses employee more details and information about the products that they are making has the meaning and good effectiveness for both environment and society. In other hand, internal media gives employee more knowledge of ethic and orients them to work on ethical way. What will happen if the internal media does not exist in a company? Take Procter and Gamble Vietnam as an example to answer that question. This company does not have internal media to improve and upgrade their employee knowledge. A few years ago, workers from manufactories of this company did steal the redundant shampoo after produced progress for their own instead of continuing produce for the up coming turn. This action did an unique loss for company. After this, Procter and Gamble Vietnam Company had the meeting around the employee management and unified to apply internal media into daily work of workers by setting TVs around factories with ethical programs which are being done as CSR of company. Although some "grits" still exist but, in general, media is the very important and indispensable tool to contribute into the success of company in doing Corporate Social Responsibility.
With the arguments and evidences above, the international multilateral such as Fair Trade Labeling Organization, Rug Mark, Forest Stewardship Council and Media includes external and internal media are proven as the very importance positions in the changing attitudes of stakeholders in doing CSR. Besides, the organizations and media effect the attitudes of companies in the right and also make them understand clearly what ethical business is.