from Neil Bayley, senior consultant, Countrywide Porter Novelli
Sir; re your Opinion on Corporate Social Responsibility (The Grocer, October 26), there is indeed plenty of evidence that many companies in this sector are working hard to play their part in the community.
But while community based partnerships on a corporate and local scale are critical, they are part of a much bigger picture when it comes to CSR.
At Countrywide Porter Novelli, we are often challenging companies to make CSR a matter of core policy rather than PR spin. We define CSR as strategically guided business accountability, not tactical communications initiatives or simple philanthropy. What makes a company stand out in the context of CSR is its ability to shape business goals against a core purpose which recognises its wider accountability to society.
Our own recent research among CSR opinion formers in the UK showed 52% would welcome mandatory CSR reporting. Are companies in food manufacturing up to this?
One way in which they could be encouraged to shape up, if they have not already, is through initiatives like the Community Partnership Awards defining best practice and rewarding strategically guided business accountability. So come on judges, it's over to you.