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Exploring the Links Between International Business and Poverty Reduction

By Jason Clay
ISBN: 9780855985660
This report is a contribution to the debates among the wider business community, governments, civil-society organisations, and academics who seek to understand how the wealth, employment, and products that a large company creates could bring increased benefits to people living in poverty.

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Exploring the Links Between International Business and Poverty Reduction View Jacket

  • Synopsis
    Foreign direct investment is recognised to be important for economic development, in terms of wealth creation, employment, skills development, and technology transfer. But there is an on-going debate about the extent to which these contributions translate into real benefits for people living in poverty. In an attempt to evaluate the impacts of international business on people living in poverty, two organisations with very different aims and perspectives - Unilever (a major company operating in some of the poorest countries in the world) and Oxfam (an international development and humanitarian organisation) - collaborated on an ambitious research project. The research considered the impacts of Unilever Indonesia across the entire business value chain, from producers and suppliers, through the company's core business operations, to its distributors, retailers, and consumers. This report presents the findings of the research. It is a contribution to the debates among the wider business community, governments, civil-society organisations, and academics who seek to understand how the wealth, employment, and products that a large company creates could bring increased benefits to people living in poverty.
  • Table of Contents
    Acroynyms and abbreviations
    Foreword: Oxfam
    Foreword: Unilever
    Executive summary


    1 Introduction

    Why Oxfam and Unilever began this project

    What is this research about?

    Methodology

    The context of the research project

    Assessing the impact of Unilever Indonesia



    2 The impacts of Unilever Indonesia at the macro-economic level

    Setting the context: the 1997-98 financial crisis

    Unilever's organisation and recent performance in Indonesia

    UI's response to the financial crisis

    Key insights



    3 The employment impacts of Unilever Indonesia

    Employment in Indonesia

    UI's employment impacts

    Key insights



    4 The value chain from supply to distribution

    Supplier companies

    Producers of raw materials

    Kecap Bango Sweet Soy Sauce: from farm to fork

    The distribution chain

    Supporting employment and value generation in UI's value chain

    Key insights



    5 Low-income consumers in the marketplace

    The fast-moving consumer-goods (FMCG) market in Indonesia

    What exactly does UI sell?

    Who buys UI products?

    Access to UI products

    Why do people buy UI products? The concept of brands

    The role of promotion and advertising

    Meeting or creating needs?

    Key insights



    6 UI's wider impact in the community

    Corporate community involvement

    UI's influence on the business sector and government

    Key insights



    7 Conclusions

    Content: lessons learned from the research project

    Process and partnership: lessons learned from working together

    Feedback from external reference group

    The way forward



    Notes
    References and sources
    Appendices

  • Endorsements
    This report will be at the vanguard of partnership and learning between a compnay and an NGO. Oxfam and Unilever are still different - and these differences are not negative: action learning is not necessarily about agreeing. The point of learning is understanding differences, and there is no progress without learning. Gilbert Lenssen, President, European Academy of Business in Society.
  • Details
    Sub Title N/A
    Author Jason Clay
    Editor No
    Number of Pages 124
    Format Paperback / softback
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