Kudler Fine Foods Ethical Program

Topics: Ethics, Business ethics, Food Pages: 8 (2643 words) Published: August 13, 2011
Kudler Fine Foods Ethical Program

In order to build an Ethical Organization Profile it is very important to understand the culture and operations of the business. Kudler Fine Foods is an upscale specialty food provider. Kudler places strong emphasis on quality and the ability to provide one stop shopping for the finest foods across a large spectrum of products. The company currently has three locations that boast 8,000 square feet of retail space which host six specialty departments. Kudler Fine Foods has a fresh bakery, fresh produce, a butcher shop with meat and seafood, packaged foods, cheese and specialty dairy, and most importantly fine wines. The owner, Kathy Kudler, is aware that it is through her customers’ satisfaction that her stores will find success. Kudler connects with its customers with a knowledgeable staff that promises to make the shopping experience delightful and pleasing. While Kudler Fine Foods’ vision is to be the premier gourmet grocery store for savvy customers, Kudler does not ignore their social responsibility, “Kudler Fine Foods uses only the finest organic ingredients. Whenever possible, we purchase local produce from organic farmers. We use unbleached flour in our bakery goods and we don’t add unnecessary preservatives to our products. Food is rotated from the shelves on an ongoing basis. Those items that are still in “good” condition are donated to local homeless shelters and food kitchens” (Apollo Group, Inc., 2007). It is through philanthropic acts that Kudler stays connected with its surroundings and establishes the groundwork of the business ethical culture. Kudler Fine Foods takes positive steps when dealing with the cultural norms it wishes to establish, however, the business leaves ethical gaps that have been overlooked and have allowed for a few ethical dilemmas to surface. The first and most glaring ethical problem or dilemma lies with Kudler’s compensation philosophy and procedures. The current policy allows too much flexibility which would allow for personal bias to influence compensation beyond equal means. The can be easily remedied by implementing a grading system which ties back to performance then is applies to a formula that will drive the amount of compensation received by performance. The current system has the employee being reviewed by themselves and their supervisor or manager, in the proposed system, the employee would be reviewed and appraised by both manager and anonymously by the employee’s peers. This would provide a more accurate depiction of the employee’s performance and then the amount of merit increase would be formulated, scored, and applied to a scale instead of arbitrarily increased. Kudler Fine Foods also allows for extra compensation to their employees by rewarding them with perishable food items. While this is an adequate bonus for the employees, it appears that Kudler views this as basic tax free compensation. Kudler’s strategic plan states that, “Our pay is a little bit below average so we allow all employees to take home some of the perishable goods to share with their family” (Apollo Group, Inc., 2007). This makes compensation impossible to determine if it is fair and equal amongst employees. There is no tracking of which employee receives what foods. This could be easily remedied by implementing a tracking system which places values to the perishable goods which the employees receive. Kudler Fine Foods final ethical problem lies with a conflict of interest. A conflict of interest occurs when judgment or objectivity is compromised. Kudler’s legal representation consists of the owner’s sister in law who provides nominal legal advice and the strategic plan was built by Tara Emilian, a friend’s daughter (Trevino 2007 pg 73). These are very important roles that should be performed by a law firm or consultants with some degree of separation. While having Anne Shousha address most legal actions saves money, it also allows for situations...

References: Addy, R. (2008). Food and Drink distribution has 'Fatal Flaws '. Food Manufacture, 83(11), 24.
Apollo Group Inc. (2007). Kudler Fine Foods. Retrieved from http://ecampus.phoenix.edu/secure/aapd/CIST/VOP/Business/Kudler2/index.htm
Chilled food strikes a fine deal. (2008). Food Manufacture, 83(11), , 24.
Kaptein, M. (2009). Ethics Programs and Ethical Culture: A next step in unraveling their multifaceted relationship. Journal of Business Ethics, 89(2), 261-281. doi:10.1007/s10551-088-9998-3
Trevino, L., & Nelson, K. (2007). Manageing Business Ethics: Straight talk about how to do it right. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
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