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The Goal Behind Corporate Accountability

The way in which you can best define corporate accountability would be as the ability of those who a corporation has affected to hold said corporation to account for those operations.

What this concept demands is that fundamental changes to the legal framework that the company operates in to be made.

 

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What these may include is placing social and environmental duties on directors to complement duties that currently exist on financial matters as well as legal rights for the local community who have suffered due to the directors not upholding these duties, seek due compensation.

‘Held to Account’

As opposed to urging companies to give account of their own free will on their activities and the impacts they cause to improve the social and environmental performance´s that they are providing, it is the belief of the ‘movement’ of corporate accountability that corporation should be ‘held to account’ – what this implies is enforceable action. This position is one that is more radical than that of the corporate social responsibility (CSR) advocates.

NGOs and local stakeholders the world over have for years now fought countless campaigns over specific issues against certain companies. There have even been times in which firms have been brought court. Under the US Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA) many popular cases have arisen, this statue sends compensation for ecological debts or environmental liabilities that have been left behind by companies.

Green Consumerism

Thousands of shoppers have been persuaded by consumer campaigns to purchase fair trade, recycled paper, and organic bananas, chocolate, coffee, and teas, food that is GM-free, timber that the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) has certified as sustainable, and so much more. What this is known as is Green Consumerism. From the perspective of corporate accountability, voluntary CSR and Green Consumerism place their focus on the individual company which is oftentimes located in the North and the consumer and ignore those social and environmental justice issues for communities which are oftentimes located in the South.

The question that is often asked here is whether or not it is right for the governments of the north to place the onus on corporate and individual voluntarism, while they sit back and do nothing for the indigenous communities which are pushed off of their own land and as rain forests are cleared for the production of cheap oil or gas, bauxite, or palm oil for the consumers in the North.

Social and Environmental Justice

NGOs believe that social and environmental justice is something that people are serious about, then surely the time has come for the mainstreaming of common social and environmental performance standards. The way that this would be done would be via changes taking place in the legal framework which would allow for people to hold corporations accountable for their social and environmental wrongdoing.

 

 

What the emerging corporate agenda includes is proposals for institutional mechanisms to be established which would hold corporations accountable, as opposed to merely urge companies to report voluntarily or to improve standards. What is promoted by corporate accountability initiatives are independent monitoring, complaints procedures, compliance with both national and international law as well as other standards that have been agreed upon, reporting that is mandatory and of course redress for malpractice.

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The Importance Of Agriculture

Agriculture has been associated primarily with the production of food crops for a long time. Today, it has become more inclusive since mushroom farming, bee keeping, fruit cultivation, dairy farming, forestry, etc. are now part of agriculture. Marketing, processing, and distribution of livestock products and crops are also acknowledged as part of agriculture.

Agriculture plays an important role in the economies of many countries especially developing and less developed nations. Agriculture is the backbone of such economies. Agriculture also plays a role though not a major one in the economy of developed nations. Agriculture provides raw materials, food, and employment opportunities to many people and industries all over the world.

Why is agriculture important?

Employment Opportunities

Agriculture is a source of income for a huge percentage of the global population especially in the developing nations. In such economies, agriculture employs as much as 70 percent of the population. Agriculture provides employment to such a large portion of the population in such countries because of the lack of development of non-agricultural activities. In developed countries most people don’t rely on agriculture as a source of employment.

Food Security

A stable agricultural sector in any country guarantees food security. Food security is critical to the success of any nation. Food security eliminates malnourishment, which has been traditionally believed to be one of the key problems that developing countries face. Food security is also the first step towards the development of a country.

Economic Development

Agriculture provides employment to a huge number of people globally, which contributes to economic development. Once a huge portion of the population is employed, the national income level rises and the standard of living improves. The rapid pace of development in the agricultural sector provides increased motivation for development and progressive outlook, which eventually contributes to the economic development.

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Source of Raw Materials

Agriculture is a valuable source of raw materials used in various industry including tobacco, sugar, jute fabric, cotton, cocoa, etc. In addition, many other industries such as rice husking, and processing of vegetables and fruits also obtain their raw materials primarily from agriculture.

Foreign Exchange Earnings

Agricultural products such as coffee, tea, sugar, cocoa, spices, etc. constitute the major export items for countries that depend on agriculture. The smooth development of the agricultural sector translates to a reduction in imports and a considerable increase in exports. This in turn translates to improved balance of payment and helps those economies earn foreign exchange. The foreign exchange earned can be used to import other essential raw materials, machinery, inputs, and other critical infrastructure for the support of the economic development of countries.

Final Thoughts

Agriculture might have been primarily used for the production of essential food crops in the past but the situation is very different. The term agriculture has grown to become more inclusive to highlight its significance to the overall global economy.

Agriculture is now one of the largest employers in many countries and many countries depend on it to sustain their economies.

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Tips for Successful E-Commerce

Setting up an e-commerce website gives you wonderful opportunities to harness the power of the online realm and increase the reach of your products.

According to the latest statistics, 51 percent of US buyers prefer to shop online. Of all Americans, 96 percent of the people questioned in a BigCommerce survey report that they’ve bought a product online at least once in their lifetime. Of all millennials, 67 percent prefer to shop online rather than visit an actual store.

These numbers are convincing but what does it take to carry out a successful e-commerce campaign? There are a few essential rules to follow for the development of the right website.

Focus on the User Experience

One thing to keep in mind is that today’s consumer is highly impatient. If you can’t offer a quick and convenient experience, they’ll move on to another opportunity.

Refrain from rushing the launch of your e-commerce business. Focus on making the website simple, functional and easy to use on any device. Test everything prior to the launch. Even better – hire professionals to do the testing for you. This way, you’ll make sure that all the functionalities are impeccable and that no bugs interfere with the performance.

Customer Service is Still Vitally Important

While the e-commerce platform plays an important role in setting up a successful business, you still have the human element in the form of customer service.

Make sure that your team is easy to reach and qualified to address the inquiries/problems online shoppers face. If you manage to respond to questions in a quick and adequate manner, chances are that you’ll get to grow your customer base quickly.

Also, remember to deliver on your promises. If you announce a discount, you better give your website visitors a discount. Misleading them may work a few times but in the end, you’ll lose many of your website visitors and potential customers.

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Focus on Social Media

Even if you have the perfect e-commerce portal in place, you will not be successful without advertising.

Social media give you all of the tools needed to increase the reach of your business without spending a large sum of money on the process. Social integration starts with the development of your website. It should also include a viable marketing strategy.

Create communities that focus on your brand and use social channels to communicate with your audience. You’ll receive tons of valuable feedback that can be used to improve customer service.

Analyze Results

The world of e-commerce is highly dynamic rather than static. An approach that delivers initial results may not necessarily be the best one in a few years.

Look at website analytics information and examine social media statistics, as well. These numbers will give you a good idea about the demographic characteristics of your audience, the amount of time they spend exploring your website and your most popular products. All of your decisions should be based on the right metrics.

Learn which matters matter the most for the performance of your e-commerce business and track those consistently.