Since my last update we have spent a few days in Amsterdam, went to Rotterdam and toured their port, went to three companies (Gasson Diamond Factory, Euro Dev, and Cargill), and visited Den Haag (the Hague). I plan on posting some pictures today or tomorrow and I have a lot more on my camera that I will upload when I get stateside. However, before all that I would like to talk about something I learned: how all industries have their own ethical dilemmas and how those issues necessitate working towards justice for all.
We went to Cargill, an animal feed manufacturer, as part of Missouri Western’s Craig School of Business Global Viewpoints course. Cargill discussed the need to balance and mitigate several ethical dilemmas on providing food to a growing population (if genetically modified food is safe, if you can tell people they can only have a certain number of children, and if you can put a limit on the amount of animal protein consumed). This problem involves those without a voice because an easy solution would be to decrease the availability of cheap animal protein to developing countries decreasing the population growth rate and/or decreasing the amount of animal protein consumed. Credit to Cargill, they seem to exhibit active social responsibility through encouraging proper farming techniques and building schools in developing countries.
Cargill attempts to balance a profit with profiting the world as a whole, we have the same responsibility in our personal and work lives. It is easy to not give back in meaningful ways because there will be a noticeable cost. Those in developing countries deserve more than our money or fleeting thoughts after we see an advertisement from UNICEF. We must use the intellectual talents and resources we have been blessed with to advocate for those who are in need. There is a need to consider how our options affect everyone, not just a few stakeholders who speak the loudest. We have all been in positions in our life where we needed the help of others, so our actions should not hurt those who are currently in a time of great need.
I am writing this just after touring the Peace Palace in the Netherlands, it reminds me that when we do not properly value a segment of the population in our world the repercussions are severe and has the propensity to result in racism and genocide. May that not be able to be said of you and me.