Ethical Issues Considered by Yeo Valley
Sustainability: Sustainability means the ability to sustain something; a means of configuring civilisation and human activity so that society, its members and its economies are able to meet their needs and express their greatest potential in the present, while preserving biodiversity and natural ecosystems. Yeo valley tries to care for the environment around them. Recently they donated over £8400 to one of the official Glastonbury charities, Water Aid. Being able to sustain a healthily environment is also beneficial for Yeo-valley because it gives their company a very good brand image. Yeo Valley also has a car sharing and cycling policy for their employees in order to decrease emissions
Trading Fairly: Trading fairly enables suppliers and customers to be considered by companies, it stops companies from over charging their customers, under paying their suppliers and paying all workers at least the countries minimum wage. Yeo-valley strives to be efficient and profitable in their operations to provide consumers with the finest organic products at affordable prices, they are bound by their self-imposed legal Company Constitution to act fairly with their suppliers and customers, to help further the organic market. This means that even though they do want to be a profitable company they are still determined to make sure that consumers have products at good prices and that their supplier are treated fairly.
Yeo-valley has signed a three-year rolling contract with OMSCO for organic milk that guarantees a fixed price per litre to the farmers and commits to ever-increasing volumes. They have ensured the fixed price set is enough to cover the prices of cost and gives the farmer a sufficient amount profit for any future improvements.
Corporate Social: Corporate Social Responsibility is the continuing commitment by business to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families as well as of the local community and society. For Yeo-valley it is imperative that they maintain a high quality product and are proud of the awards won for this policy. By Yeo-valley winning prestigious awards such it shows the honesty and genuine care taken into to the business.
Environmental Care: Environmental care means reducing the company’s carbon footprint to ensure a safe and healthy future for the earth. Yeo Valley has joined forces with the UK's leading woodland conservation charity, in a bid to stimulate a revival of the great British garden, They plan to plant trees all over the UK to ensure the English country sides are preserved. The dairy company’s ‘plant a tree’ drive will run for two months, Yeo valley will also give its customers seeds to plant new trees themselves.
Impact on Yeo valley’s stake holders
- Customers: By Yeo Valley acting ethically it has a positive impact on their customers. This is because they can buy good organic products at appropriate and affordable prices.
- Shareholders: The shareholders of Yeo Valley are mainly interested in profit and increased shares. By the business acting ethically there is a reduction of profits for the shareholders as there are higher costs that need covering such as paying the suppliers and employees.
- Employees: Yeo Valley offer their employees fair wages this has a positive impact on the employees as they are being treated fairly so will therefore work hard and stay with the organisation.
- Pressure Groups: Pressure Groups who want employees to be treated fairly and to tackle ethical issues will be impressed by Yeo Valley’s ethical operations and it will impact them as they will not have to try and encourage them to behave ethically.
- Conflicts: There may be conflicts between the Shareholders and the Customers & Employees as the Shareholders want higher profits but this is not possible if the customers continue to buy products at affordable prices and the employees continue to receive fair wages.
The impact of operating ethically
Yeo Valley acting ethically will enable them to enhance their reputation as an ethical business and give them an improved brand image. By Yeo Valley choosing to offer their products at affordable prices their sales should be increased and they should attract loyal customers. However by operating ethically the business do lose money and have increased costs. For example Yeo Valley choose to give their farmers(supplier) a sufficient amount of profit but this costs them more and has an impact on the profit they receive.
The way in which Yeo-valley can be more ethical in their business is for the packaging of their yogurts. Yeo Valley currently use twin layer tubs which use the thinnest possible Polypropylene. Polypropylene thermoplastic polymer, made by the chemical industry and used in a wide variety of applications, including food packaging, ropes, textiles, stationary, plastic parts and reusable containers of various types, laboratory equipment, loudspeakers, and automotive components.
Since polypropylene contains only carbon and hydrogen atoms, it does not poison environment after its disposal. However high melting point suggests that deterioration time in the land fill will be long. Yeo Valley chose to use Polypropylene for their packaging as they thought that recycling centres for this material were being built, unfortunately this was not the case.
As there is not a widespread of polypropylene recycling businesses operating in the UK it means that Yeo Valley’s yogurt pots are not all recyclable. The reason recycling is highly considered is because the materials customers recycle could be passed on to reprocesses so they can turn them in to new products and eventually new pots for the yogurts.
Using recycled materials to manufacture new items can be cheaper than using raw materials and could mean less energy used. By recycling, customers will be helping to preserve natural resources and to protect the environment for future generations.
In order for Yeo Valley to be more ethical they could possible try another material for their yoghurt pots that can be recycled or they can try and campaign or lobby for more polypropylene recycling business’s in the UK.
A lot of Yeo Valley’s aims are to promote and to educate people about organic foods. Yeo- valley feels strongly about organic foods because Organic food is grown and stored without the use of artificial pesticides and fertilisers. The fact that residues remain on conventional foods and are consumed by us over decades, accumulating in our fatty tissues is well documented.
Yeo Valley educates people about organic foods through their website and packaging on their products which gives information on the benefits of organic products.
However in order to be more ethical Yeo Valley could try harder to promote this and to make people more aware of why they should choose organic products. They only include points on their website, they should include a full page dedicated to it or either promotions that can ease customers in. Yeo-valley can also do this by using television advertising or even radio advertising in which the adverts would be noticed. This could also impact their sales as a lot of new customers would be attracted to their products.