Responsibility in World Business: Managing Harmful Side-Effects of Corporate Activity

By Lene Bomann-Larsen; Oddny Wiggen | Go to book overview

10
Del Monte Kenya Limited

Florence J. A. Oloo


Introduction

Business corporations all over the world are increasingly becoming aware of their responsibilities towards their stakeholders. How to conduct business in a more responsible manner in countries where human rights abuses are widespread, where war is being fought, or where the environment is being degraded is one of the serious challenges facing business communities today. Even though the business enterprise may be pursuing a legitimate objective, the means are not always legitimate, and, even when the means are legitimate, the side-effects of the means may still be harmful. The principle of double effect (PDE) as outlined in the introductory chapters of this volume provides a solid framework of reference in dealing with the negative side-effects when businesses pursue legitimate objectives by legitimate means.

This chapter examines the case of Del Monte Kenya Limited (DMKL) and analyses morally dubious means as well as negative side-effects resulting from the means employed – including any complicity in the wrongdoing of others – under the framework of the given PDE. Note that some of the expectations of DMKL may seem far-reaching compared with what one would reasonably expect from business companies elsewhere, especially as regards health care and housing. However, it is important to keep in mind that certain welfare conditions must be met in order for people to be able to work at all, and in a country such as

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