Fast Food Industry Essay

Fast food industry has been growing at a staggering rate and has employed various practices in order to reduce costs and maximize profits but this has certainly led to the industry ignoring ethical practices. With rising concerns among the masses and the need for sustainability, corporations have been seeking to adopt ethical practices into their business models to ensure long-term survival. In this report we look at the causes leading to adopting ethics and how it has affected the industry as a whole.

Corporations have been adapting to the changing environment at a cautious pace not to affect the profitability but neglect has caused various organizations to face the test of survival.

The purpose of this report is to understand the various ethical challenges, sustainability and stakeholders involved in the Fast Food industry by examining a range of published journals articles, magazine articles and newspaper reports on the topic of business ethics followed by various organizations and business undertakings in this industry. The report focuses on the various factors which influence these undertakings to follow a standard set of ethical principles in order to achieve or elevate their organizational performance.

Food being an important factor for survival, corporations have been utilizing this to dominating this sector through cheap and unhealthy food which can cause implications to human health and various other factors which undermine societal and cultural values.

On a global context, the fast food industry today generates revenues worth more than $570 billion which is bigger than the economic values of most countries and in the United states alone it amounted to a gross revenue of $200 billion from $6 billion in 1970 (Sena, 2016). However, with the ever-growing demand for the basic inputs such as meat diary and eggs it has resulted in the exponential increase in consumption without questioning the methods of its production or processing. This has often led to a multitude of negative impacts on various ethical landmines such as diet-related diseases (Janet Renee, 2016), worker exploitation, animal abuse and environmental degradation such as packaging involving Styrofoam which takes 900 years to completely break down (Geer, 2016).

The Fast food industry today are driven by factory farming involving treatment of animals in harsh conditions (Geer, 2016) as well as genetically modified animal feeds. It has even been increasingly difficult to source food which is not genetically modified and has its roots deep in the food chain (Fernandez, 2016). Moreover, 50% of these employees working full time are underpaid have to rely on public assistance programs in order to make a living (Sena, 2016). This has been enabling Giant corporates to make huge profits at artificially reduced prices on the cover billion-dollar marketing campaigns where the true cost lies with the societal health, workers, environment and animal welfare.

As a result of  various socio-economic factors such as increasing expenses, competition and awareness through mainstream media there has been an increasing need for maximizing efficiency and awareness among various stakeholders, many companies have sought to prioritize sustainability measures throughout their business models by emphasizing on sustainable food practices, minimizing wastage, stringent quality checks for suppliers and adopting energy efficient mechanisms for their infrastructure (Council, 2016).

Many Multi-National Corporations are seeking to adopt a more sustainable form of supply chains by establishing consortium which develops guiding principles and practices to provide sustainable raw materials while ensuring economic viability, additionally consumers are willing to pay a higher price for better sourced raw materials (Business, 2016).

The Fast Food Industry has been increasingly popular in almost all parts of the world and as a result, have drawn various connections to multiple elements in an economy right from the suppliers to the end consumers. As a result of this wide involvement it has drawn the attention of a large no. investors seeking to make a large profit, people looking for job opportunities, Governments framing its regulation due to its heavy investment, Communities leaving nearby, Local cum International competitors, Social activist groups concerned with its process and lastly it boils down to the end consumers.

Image 1.0 is an example of how a stakeholder namely PETA has been involved with the large multi-national corporation such as McDonalds in order to raise their voice against animal abuse. Campaigns such as these have been putting heavy pressure on such organizations to alter their business models and seek more sustainable ones.

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