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Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Sustainability

CSRminute: Wal-Mart, Other Retailers Partner with MFIs; Smithfield Foods Reaffirms Sustainability Strategy

Hello, I’m Gretchen Siegchrist, and these are your CSR Minute headlines for Friday, July 30th:
Wal-Mart, Metro Cash & Carry, and the Future Group have formed partnerships with microfinance institutions to sell merchandise on credit to kirana shops, the six million small, local retail stores that serve India’s large rural population. Metro has a pilot project with SKS Microfinance, and the Future Group has just signed a similar deal. Bharti-Wal-Mart, an equal joint venture, has teamed with Kotak Mahindra Bank for cards to offer ready credit to the kiranas. The MFIs will provide credit, and also serve as intermediaries to collect orders from the kiranas, source merchandise for them from the big retailers, and manage deliveries. The MFIs will not charge interest on the credit, but instead will receive a commission from the large retailers.
Smithfield Foods has released its ninth annual CSR Report, highlighting the company’s progress in environmental performance, animal welfare, food safety, community relations, and employee citizenship. A global producer of pork and turkey products, Smithfield includes in its report a retrospective narrative that acknowledges the company’s history prior to adoption of corporate social responsibility programs, practices that were criticized by animal welfare and employee activists. The report outlines how CSR is now embedded in every area of the company’s operations, and concludes that managing CSR is integral to producing good business results.
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