10 March 2010

The GreyZone

: my first weekly journal

There are so many responsibilities of the corporate among the stakeholders, two of them are responsibilities to consumer and responsibilities to local community. What is local and consumer responsibilities? Corporate social responsibility is companies acting voluntarily and beyond the law to achieve social and environmental objectives during the course of their daily business activities. The act can be a hand to local programme  or just minimalize their negative effect to a community. And responsibilities to customer can be memenuhi the rights of consumer. Such as : get safety product, to be heard, informed all about relevant aspect of the product, to choose what they buy etc.
But now, how with tobacco company? Are they responsible among stakeholders, in this case local community and consumer? If they don’t, what is the problem? How to solve that problems?

Commonly, tobacco company, especially famous tobacco company, has memenuhi their responsibilities, those are responsibilities to employee, supplier, investor, local community and costumer. For example, giving appropriate wage, inform the financial position, have a good relationship to suppliers, and sponsor many activities, such as environment conservation, giving scholarship and fund the music concert. So, if we asked whether the company has  fulfilled their responsibilities among stakeholders, the answer is yes, they have. But on the other side, the tobacco company has broken one of consumer rights, that is get safety product. Then, tobacco, the product, can cause pollution. But one the one hand, they have a conservation programme, which can be a reforestation programme. Finally, we will find so many things that opposite in tobaccos company responsibilities to the consumer and environment case.
Consumer rights states that consumer have right to get safe products but as we all know that tobaccos full with poison and dangerous thing in it. From nicotine (insecticide), ammonia (toilet cleaner), aracnic (poison), ect. Tobaccos can make pollution and illness, for active smokers and also passive smokers. But tobacco company has excuse. First excuse, that consumer are free to buy all things they want and nobody can forbide them to buy tobaccos. Second, if consumer buy tobaccos, company gets profit. Then the profit is  aside for young generation in scholarships or financial support. This means that consumer who buy tobacco help Indonesia to be better. Third, about pullution and illness, that after sold, tobacco is owned by consumer. When consumer inhale and exhale the smoke then causing pollution, it is consumer’s responsibiliy, not the company’s. For the illness, that is consumer’s choice. If they know the dangerous subtances, why are they still buy and exhale-inhale it?
Based on the processed data from the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2008, that out of every 4 of the Indonesian population was 1 smoker. The total tobaccos smoked per year is 225 billion sticks. It's enough to make a very bad pollution for the environment. These numbers will increase in relevance with the increase of adolescence.
Tobacco company has put themselves toa a greyzone, an area where good and bad things become blur, in assistance with losses and goods for “whitening” or repeal the badness from product they have produced. But, although tobacco company has produce things that harmful to human life, the company can directly closed. Because it will arise effect that not good for tobacco farmers and employees. Tobacco farmers will lose their jobs and cannot supply tobaccos to company, unemployment will increase.
So from previous exposure, in fact, there are more bad things than the good one. By closing the company, hopefully can be the solution. But before closing, in order to avoid bad effect, it is more better to prepare the closing in advance, such as prepare the replacement job for the employees.For example, for the tobaccos farmer, the land can be replaced by planting palms. Slowly the company “rebuilt” the company to a oil processing factory. Then the employee can work in there. In this example we avoid the tobacco/cigarettes bad effect by closing the company. Also we can increasing tax for cigarettes, or avoid to advertising the cigarettes (as American does). But despite of all, one example is more better than thousands advice.

Nadiyah Salsabila
Management ‘09

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