The fact there is intense competition in the food and beverage industry has already created several issues for the manufacturers to deal with. One of the biggest problems is that the liberalization of the policies related to the return of the food and beverages led to the abundance of the products that should be returned. However, it is worth stating that in some cases the products are returned to the manufacturer or the retailer because the consumer was not aware of certain characteristics of the food or beverage. The primary objective of the paper is to draw attention towards ethical behavior issues in handling food and beverage products returned to the manufacturer or the retail store.
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There are some cases when the customers are fooled by the manufacturer company to gain more profit and to reduce spending. In 2013, the case shocked the public. Muslims were sold pork instead of halal, the meat that can be consumed by Muslims. According to their religious beliefs, pork should not be eaten. The last inspection of meat found pork in the halal meat for barbecue and pizza. Meanwhile, in the United Kingdom of Great Britain, one of the companies that provided the schools with the sausages apologized for using pork meat in halal sausage. After the examination of the meat, pork was also found in the meat for barbeque and some places that sell fast food to locals.
Ragnhild Arnesen, a member of the Norwegian Agency for Food Safety highlighted that the grocery stores were stocked up with halal meat mixed with pork (Sewell, 2013). He claimed that this was a serious offense and two manufacturers, namely Kuraas and Norsk Mesterkjoett faced the court. There should be no pork in halal as it contradicts the religious beliefs of Muslims (Nakyinsige, Man, & Sazili, 2012). The fact that such an impressive percentage of the pork meat was found in halal proves that it was not a coincidence and can be considered as a fraud. Marketing Manager of the Kuraas Company tried to fend off the attacks. He stated that the pork was found in these products due to a failure in the production process. However, such an explanation seems to be not reasonable.
The ethical norms can commonly be found in the law or religious texts. Muslim society rejects pork meat. The actions made by Norway and Great Britain companies contradict the ethics of Koran. Every time someone breaks the law or ethical norm, the person destroys or damages society’s configuration. As a result, there can be severe consequences for the society or religion group. The most important function of the government is to protect society from different kinds of negative influence. In this case, the government protects Muslims by suing companies and making inspections. At the same time, the safety of the citizens receives the priority, and manufacturers face the appropriate level of punishment.
The case with the Coca-Cola Company proves that even the giants of the food and beverage industry can be in the target zone. The Coca-Cola Company returned the money to the Boys and Girls Club of America to fight against obesity (Loki, 2015). The company denied that obesity in the United States was the consequence of the unlimited consumption of sweet drinks. In contrast, they stated that the fact that the nation suffers from overweight is caused by the lack of physical exercise. According to recent scientific researches, sweet drinks can be considered as one of the major reasons for overweight. To change the situation, the manufacturers in the sphere of food and beverage industries should be responsible for the eating habits of the population.
In conclusion, it should be stressed that every manufacturer aims to receive more profit. However, all the products made by manufacturers are created for consumers. In case some of the buyers want to return the good then the state should allow and guarantee the protection of the consumer’s rights. In the described above cases, there is an evident fraud committed by manufacturers that led to severe consequences. The return policies should be developed and improved as the protection of the consumers’ rights should receive the highest concern. The government protects the consumers when it allows the actions to return the goods. The state creates a reliable policy, and the person can defend his interests. In case the government exists for the human, not the human for the government, then the rights that the state approves will be based on ethical norms represented within the society. The fundamental issue is to take into consideration all the peculiarities and interests of different groups in a multicultural world. The return policies and the law should be in progress and keep pace with the development of social and ethical norms. Nevertheless, the religious peculiarities are not likely to change, and that is, they should receive the fundamental priority.
Loki, R. (2015). Coke adds fraud: Exposing the beverage giant’s shady research practices. Web.
Nakyinsige, K., Man, Y., & Sazili, A. (2012). Halal authenticity issues in meat and meat products. Meat Science, 91(3), 207-214.
Sewell, A. (2013). Pork found in Halal food in Norway and UK. Web.