Key objectives This chapter examines the wider role of food and hospitality organizations by analysing their broader responsibility with regard to food supply in society. These areas of responsibility include how organizations manage utilities and production methods, the characteristics of the food purchased and their relationships with their stakeholders. The key objectives of this chapter are: • To explain what is meant by ethical business practice and

social responsibility • To identify the key stakeholders of food and hospitality

organizations and comment on how they may influence the ethics of the organization

• To explore the demand for ‘ethical food’ • To determine the characteristics of ‘ethical food’ • To analyse the implications for retail food and hospitality


Introduction Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is not a twentieth-century phenomenon. In 1844, the ‘Rochdale Pioneers’ opened a co-operative shop to sell wholesome food at fair prices at a time when the adulteration of food was common (Co-op 2000). In 1800, Robert Owen began the set up of the model village and factory of New Lanark in Scotland (Cannon 1994). This philanthropist ensured his workers received education, health care and comfortable homes. There may have been a touch of paternalism in Victorian ‘model’ institutions but there was a genuine concern that ‘the lot’ of the worker should be improved. As the values of society changed, legislation was introduced that forced organizations to become more responsible in the way they operated. Today, companies operate in an environment where many aspects are controlled by government policy and legislation. This provides a baseline for conduct.