Agribusiness Ethical Issues
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Agribusiness Ethical Issues
With the advancement in science and technology in every aspect of human life is continuously changing. Technology is taking over everything and every now, and then something new comes up to be used in everyday life. These technologies are brought up or induced in the community to make life easier yet many feel like it has made life more miserable for many. For instance, agriculture is essential for mankind survival, and it has been the way of life since the beginning of humanity.
Science and technology have greatly affected the field of agriculture and so farmers. New technological equipment has made life more comfortable, however, the financial struggles of farmers and struggles with crop production have multiplied immensely. On the one hand, factories or prominent companies are supposedly working hard to give relief to farmers by manufacturing pesticides and chemicals to help farmers cope with harmful insects and help farmers yield more benefits more their crops. On the other hands, these companies are criticized for experimenting their products on farmers and their lands that usually destroy crops, land and financially handicap farmers. Indian farmers are one of the examples of being used as experiments. Evidence shows that thousands of Indian farmers are killing themselves because they fail to produce enough crops even though they purchase materials such as pesticides and chemicals and even seeds that are supposed to help farmers yield more crops with less hassle. Because of these reasons, the majority of the farmers lose everything they have and even burden themselves with debts and loans. Only if the giant manufacturing factories or companies would act responsibly and take care of their customers, such a disaster can be avoided. Ethics are extremely important in any business if ethics are not met all the businesses will lead to social and worldly destruction.
Many theorists and philosophers have put forward numerous ethical theories that can be related to this issue. For example, Virtue-based ethics states that the right behaviors promotes good character and ethical values, and involves caring for participants (Arzu et al., 2010). Concerning this discussion, if these big companies behave in a way that would help the farmers rather than marketing their products in a way that would appeal to farmers and indirectly make them risk everything they have, such a tragedy could be avoided. The products these companies sell to these farmers if results in damage should be compensated and they should not let these farmers die as an adverse effect of the company's products.
Utilitarianism is another ethical based theory which stresses on the agenda that people should do what would result in the betterment of the society as a whole and do not indulge in practices that would harm the majority (Huq & Stevenson, 2018). Most of the businesses currently focus on making profits and do not care about their activities impact on society or the world as a whole. That is why they only focus on selling products and not on what good or bad would it cause as a whole. It is the ethical, moral and human responsibility of any person or a company to take the blame for their wrongful doing and make it right. The farmers who have taken their lives because they purchased products of companies that revealed that it would help them yield more and better crops must answer for their actions and make it right somehow and not allow such incidents to happen again.
Lastly, Deontological theory or duty-based ethics states that people have to uphold norms, using ethics of fairness or justice and equity. Justice means to deal fairly. In this discussion, farmers are not dealt with fairness, equity or justice at all. They are sold goods that instead of resulting in goodness, resulted in harm and ultimately in the death of thousands of farmers. Society crumbles when justice is perished (Shafer, 2012). For any society to flourish, justice must be made available to all.
Shafer-Landau, R. (2012). The Fundamentals of Ethics (2nd ed.) New York: Oxford University Press, Inc.
Huq, F., & Stevenson, M. (2018). Implementing Socially Sustainable Practices in Challenging Institutional Contexts: Building Theory from Seven Developing Country Supplier Cases. Journal of Business Ethics, 1-28.
Arzu Ozsozgun, Emel Ozarslan, & Halil Emre Akbas. (2010). "Insider Trading from the Perspectives of Two Ethical Theories: Utilitarianism and Kant's Approach." International Journal of Business and Management Studies, 2(1), International Journal of Business and Management Studies, 01 January 2010, Vol.2(1).
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