Campbells

M'm! M'm! Good! M'm! M'm! Good!, That's what Campbell's soups are, M'm! M'm! Good!

Sunday 23 May 2010, by Adria Aldome Sia, Carine Vukojevic, Gregor Reitbauer, Miquel Roig Miserendino

7 inspired

Analysis of Campbell?s activities

?Our custumers, consumers and other stakeholders should know that we stand for when it comes to CSR and sustainability and where we believe we can make an impact? Doug Conant, President and CEO

Main facts and activities

Starting with some facts about Campbell Soup Company, they have a portfolio consisting of Campbell?s, Pace Sauces, Pepperidge Farm, Prego, Swanson, and V8. The company is mostly known for its Campbell?s Soup line, which is sold in 120 different countries. In Europe the products are often sold under different brand names, but the ?real? Campbell?s Soup can be found in European grocery stores as well.

The production of commercially condensed soups started 30 years after the foundation of Campbell and Anderson, when Dr. John T. Dorranc?, an organic chemist, joined the company and developed a process for making the soups. The company now has 38 manufacturing plants in 11 different countries, where they produce more than 10,000 distinct soup, sauce, baked snack, and beverage products. In order to make sure that their products are of the best quality, Campbell Soup Company stipulates that their suppliers to fulfill a lot of requirements, including requirements concerning food quality, sanitation, and social responsibility/sustainability.

Campbell Soup Company has the desire to make healthier products an everyday choice for consumers. They are also increasing their focus on foods that meet consumers? nutrition needs, in order to address the growing interest in issues such as childhood obesity, heart health, and the quality of life for aging populations. This leads to the company?s mission, which is: ?Together we will build the world?s most extraordinary food company by nourishing people?s lives everywhere, every day.?

Ethical measures

Next, the company?s ethical measures will be analyzed before going into what we think of the company and their behavior.

Campbell includes all its activities that go further than mere short term economic profit under the umbrella of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Its CSR is divided in four main fields:
Nourishing our consumers, nourishing our neighbours, nourishing our employees and nourishing our planet.

Nourishing our consumers: Being in the agri-food industry the company is concerned with the health of its consumers. Campbell tries to produce food with high content of fibre and protein and lower content of fat. They have many products that are certified by the American heart association.

Nourishing our neighbours: Campbell puts a lot of effort in social cohesion. They have programs to collect food for poor people both in America and abroad. Education is one of its most important commitments. The program ?labels for education? which involves over 80.000 schools and 17,5 million students helps schools get extra educational tools like software, computer or books and encourage students into voluntary work. Another educational program named ?fishful thinking? promotes within parents and teachers the benefits of optimism and positive thinking in child?s education.

Nourishing our employees: Campbell tries to engage its employees in volunteering programs and community support activities, 98% of its employers are engaged in some kind of program. They also encourage gender equality policies and safety standards over the legal requirement. In general Campbell expects to give its employees more than just a salary.

Nourishing our planet: In this field the company is reducing energetic and water usage in the production of food. They also encourage recycling and sustainable agriculture. For example during 2009 Campbell recycled 84% of its waste, reduced water use by 9% and invested more than 6 million dollars in environmental projects.

As can be seen Campbell is involved in a lot of different programs, some of them don’t have much to do with its productive activities. This is easier to comprehend understanding that Campbell brand is highly rooted into American culture and tradition, hence their focus in social cohesion gives it a brand image of familiarity and truthfulness.

Campbell?s productive activities within the legal framework of a developed country like United States arise few ethical issues. Although the company goes further and is actively helping to solve or improve issues that society as a whole faces like hunger, diet, education or social cooperation.

To sum up the image Campbell is trying to promote is that it is not only a company searching for profit but also a company highly committed to American values and society. For them American people are as important as profits when they have to take decisions. The company is committed to the principle of improving society that it is in some sense what is expected from business. It tries to target this principle through both economic and ethical channels.

Is the company really ethical?

All these gestures make up a lovely picture. But should we believe that Campbell is really ethical? Can we really trust that its intentions really pursue social goals and are not a cover-up of some kind?

These are difficult questions to answer since it is not possible for us to infiltrate the company and see what actually is going on. However, it is our belief that Campbell should be trusted. The reason for this is that there have been a great number of people looking into Campbell?s way of functioning. In fact, Campbell has earned itself a reputation of being an ethical company through a great number of rewards in various categories. Just to mention a few, Campbell has been named as one of the World?s Most Ethical Companies in the 2010 list by Ethisphere Magazine, has appeared in the top 10 Corporate Social Responsibility Index by the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship and is in the 100 Best Corporate Citizens List by the Corporate Responsibility magazine. Therefore, it is difficult to assume that the company?s achievement of these awards is due to sheer luck rather than to a continuous effort to contribute to society.

As important as the reputation the company has built for itself may be, it is always interesting to analyze a few figures to see if reality and the proclaimed intentions go hand in hand. One of the reasons that lead us to think that Campbell?s is an ethical company is the amount of money it gives as donations to charity. Last 2009, it dedicated 32.6 million dollars to fight hunger and aid local communities both in educational and health terms. To dedicate such an amount of money when it could spend much less to achieve the same reputational image shows us that the company does not only want to be well seen in eyes of the public, but seeks its own contribution to social welfare. Also, such an important food producer should be conscientious with the environment. The fact that 84.5% of the solid waste is recycled speaks very well of the company.

Finally, another issue that leads us to believe that we are dealing with an ethical company is the way it works in the inside. Campbell has a 44% female workforce and a 23:1 engagement ratio. This last figure represents the ratio of workers that feel passionate about their job to those who work without passion or connection to the organizational values. This is of key importance: do people who work in an unethical organization feel good and linked to the organizational principles? Usually they don?t, thus we could conclude that this is evidence reinforcing our concept of Campbell?s Soup Company.

Possible Future Challenges and Improvements of Company:
Lastly, some futures issues will be analyzed. The position of the company in the industry is a good one and this will probably not change in the near future as the company?s steady success is probable to continue. However, in regards to the ethical effort the company exerts, there is still room for improvement in the future. For that reason, the company has set certain goals they want to reach by 2020 in order to further improve their own situation as well as those of the recipients of their efforts.

These goals include the aforementioned ?Nourishing our consumers, Nourishing our neighbours, Nourishing our employees, Nourishing our planet?. Realizing those lofty goals will provide a big challenge for the company in the next decade, but Campbell is doing a lot to achieve this and on a good path right now that they should continue. The biggest problem for the company could be a change in philosophy or some kind of food scandal, but both of these scenarios are long shots.

If Campbell is able to reach their goals the companies standing in the public should further improve, which in turn will have a positive effect on their profits. Campbell is already a well-liked brand, especially in the United States, one that people enjoy working for a trend that is likely to continue in the future.

Bibliography

http://www.campbellsoup.com/
http://www.businesswire.com
http://www.justmeans.com/viewcompanyprofile?id=13217
Campbell?s Social Responsibility Report

Location: Camden (United States of America, New Jersey)

Sector: cookies, crackers, food - soup, tomato juice, sauces

Official website: http://www.campbellsoup.com/

Key figures:

Campbell Soup Company was founded in the United States in 1869 by Joseph Campbell, a fruit merchant, and Abraham Anderson, an icebox manufacturer. The company started under the name Campbell and Anderson, but changed its name to Campbell Soup Company in 1922, since its soup had become extremely popular.
Nowadays Campbell Soup Company is still mostly known for its soup, but it has a $7 billion portfolio consisting of simple meals, baked snacks, and healthy beverages as well. The company now has operations in 120 different counties in North/Latin America, Europe, and the Asia Pacific.

In 2009 Campbell Soup Company had a revenue of $7,586 million, which is $412 million less compared to their revenue in 2008. However, it?s a lot higher than the revenues from the years 2005-2007. Its annual profit in 2009 was $736 million, which is again lower than the profit from the previous years, but higher than its annual profit from 2005. The current number of employees is approximately 18,700.

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