African Journal of
Food Science

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Food Sci.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0794
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJFS
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 808

Review

The past, present and future of critical aspects of global ethics and corporate social responsibility in agriculture and food technology industry

Mohamed Ahmed Omer1*, Omer Mohamed Abdalla2 and Seedahmed S. Mahmoud3
1Graduate School of Business and Law, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia. 2Victoria Graduate School of Business, Australia. 3Future Fibre Technologies Pty Ltd, 10 Hartnett Close, Mulgrave, VIC 3170, Australia.
Email: [email protected]

  • Article Number - 18300BB25880
  • Vol.4(9), pp. 553 - 557, September 2010
  •  Accepted: 02 August 2010
  •  Published: 30 September 2010

Abstract

The technological advancements in agriculture and food technology industry have created many controversial ethics and social responsibility areas. The aim of this paper is to discuss the past, present and potential future trends in ethics and corporate social responsibility in agriculture and food technology industry. It also seeks to identify the ethics and corporate social responsibility gap generated by the rapid technological advancements in this industry. The factors that need to be taken into account by corporate as a part of its ethics and social responsibility when introducing new technology were discussed in this paper. The discussion revealed that new technologies have generated great ethics and social responsibility. These concerns are in regard to consumers and workers health, environment, economic, over use of natural resources and the impact on future generation life. Based on this discussion it was established that in the current situation and with regard to the advancements in agriculture and food technology, the industry has ethical and social responsibility towards the general consumers. This paper reasons that corporations working in agriculture and food technology are required to actively consider their responsibility and adopt ethical and social responsibility policy. Moreover, this paper has predicted the future trends on light of the past and present technological advancements. Based on the discussion, the paper concluded that there is an ethical and social responsibility gap due to the advancements in agriculture and food technology. Thus, it is the responsibility of corporation to address this gap when evaluating new technology. The evaluation should consider several suitable means such as environmental impact analysis as well as social impact analysis. It was also concluded that the current risk assessment of genetically modified food has its limitation due to the availability of limited long term scientific evidence. In order to align the corporate practice with its ethics and social responsibility a list of recommendations were formulated by the authors. These recommendations included but not limited to: 1. The integration of consumer health impact with other relevant factors such as economical and environmental impacts; 2. Adequate labelling of genetically modified ingredient; 3. Adopting an ethic and social responsibility policy; 4. Implementation of post-marketing surveillance and monitoring strategy to assess the long term effects of genetically modified food on human health, and 5. The implementation of a suitable system to control the release of unauthorized genetically modified crops from research laboratories into the food chains and the environment.

 

Key words: Agriculture, ethics, food technologies, genetically modified food.

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