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Exploring the Links Between International Business and Poverty Reduction: A case study of Unilever in Indonesia

Exploring the Links Between International Business and Poverty Reduction: A case study of Unilever in Indonesia

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Published by Oxfam
The role of big business in poverty reduction cannot be overemphasized. This study looks at one of the corporate giants in Indonesia, Unilever, and examines its business activities for their impacts on the poor who along the line link with these activities either directly or indirectly.The study suggests the extent to which the wealth created by business can reduce poverty is determined by many factors, an industry's operating structure and the values and strategies of individual companies within it are critical factors. Likewise, the opportunities open to people living in poverty, and their negotiating power - as citizens, workers, producers, consumers, and community members - are key determinants in the local context. The paper attempts to improve understanding of the relationship between big business and poverty reduction. On signing a Statement of Intent and Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Oxfam and Unilever, the two parties agreed to examine activities along Unilever Indonesia's entire value chain, from sourcing of raw materials to the impacts on consumers who purchase UI's products. This had the advantage of giving an overview of this fastmoving consumer-goods (FMCG) company within Indonesia.
The role of big business in poverty reduction cannot be overemphasized. This study looks at one of the corporate giants in Indonesia, Unilever, and examines its business activities for their impacts on the poor who along the line link with these activities either directly or indirectly.The study suggests the extent to which the wealth created by business can reduce poverty is determined by many factors, an industry's operating structure and the values and strategies of individual companies within it are critical factors. Likewise, the opportunities open to people living in poverty, and their negotiating power - as citizens, workers, producers, consumers, and community members - are key determinants in the local context. The paper attempts to improve understanding of the relationship between big business and poverty reduction. On signing a Statement of Intent and Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Oxfam and Unilever, the two parties agreed to examine activities along Unilever Indonesia's entire value chain, from sourcing of raw materials to the impacts on consumers who purchase UI's products. This had the advantage of giving an overview of this fastmoving consumer-goods (FMCG) company within Indonesia.

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Published by: Oxfam on Apr 12, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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Exploring the Links BetweenInternational Business and Poverty Reduction:A Case Study of Unilever in Indonesia
Principal Author: Jason ClayPrincipal Author: Jason ClaAn Oxfam GB, Novib, Unilever, and Unilever Indonesia joint research project 
 
First published by Oxfam GB, Novib Oxfam Netherlands, and Unilever in 2005© Oxfam GB, Novib Oxfam Netherlands, and Unilever 2005ISBN 0 85598 566 6All rights reserved. This publication is copyright, but may be reproduced by any method without fee for advocacy or teaching purposes, but not for resale. The copyright holders request that all such use be registered with them for impactassessment purposes. For copying in any other circumstances, or for re-use in other publications, or for translation or adaptation, prior written permission must be obtained from the publishers, and a fee may be payable.Printed by Information Press, Eynsham, UKOriginal language: EnglishA catalogue record for this publication is available from the British Library.Copies of this report and more information are available from:Oxfam GB, Oxfam House, John Smith Drive, Cowley, Oxford, OX4 2JY, UKEmail: oxfam@oxfam.org.ukOxfam GB is registered as a charity (no. 202918) and is a member of Oxfam International.Novib, Mauritskade 9, Postbus 30919, 2500 GX Den Haag, The Netherlands, +31()703421991Unilever PLC, PO Box 68, Unilever House, Blackfriars, London EC4P 4BQ, UKTel +44 (0)20 7822 5252 Fax +44 (0)20 7822 5951
Acknowledgements
This report is based on research commissioned by Oxfam GB and Unilever Indonesia andcarried out in Indonesia by T. Hani Handoko, A. Prasetyantoko, B.M. Purwanto, andMaria Ratnaningsih, co-ordinated by Amar Inamdar at Synergy. In-country project facilitationand information gathering were provided by Oxfam staff in Indonesia and by Unilever Indonesia.The principal author of the report was Jason Clay. The project was supported throughout byDavid Logan and Michelle Dow of the Corporate Citizenship Company, who also assisted in thedrafting of the final report.
Front-cover photographs (left to right):
Soybean farmer tending his plants.
(Kate Raworth/Oxfam GB)
Unilever factory employee packing product.
(Unilever Indonesia)
Unilever sales representative distributing product to retailers by bicycle.
(Unilever Indonesia)
Customer buying goods from a
warung
retailer.
(Unilever Indonesia)
 
Exploring the Links BetweenInternational Business and Poverty Reduction:A Case Study of Unilever in Indonesia
Principal Author: Jason Clay
An Oxfam GB, Novib, Unilever, and Unilever Indonesia joint research project 

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