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a) Identify questions of ethics and sustainability and analyse how they impact on one’s day-to-day work experience.
b) Apply a range of ethical frameworks and develop a vocabulary for ethical issues.
c) Demonstrate the ability to apply the various frameworks that underpin how individuals and organisations make decisions on complex ethical issues.
d) Analyse the impact of economic, commercial, social and environmental trends on organisation’s ethical and sustainability behaviours.
e) Explore specific sustainability tools such as values-based management and stakeholder perspectives.
f) Evaluate the role of the individual as an agent of ethical and sustainable behaviour in organisations.

The Issue of Contamination in Coca Cola's Packaging

The cost of quality defects and the recalls can be expensive and it can damage the overall brand image and integrity, this can be catastrophic. Coca Cola in the year 2017 faced a major quality issue related to the packaging. The cans of the company were found to be contaminated with the human waste. The product was being exported to Germany but, the export was aborted after the contamination in the containers was found. When the products are shipped to other countries or even the same country, all the laws and quality checks must be followed. This case will critically focus on the issue and the reason behind the issue along with providing the recommendations for the same.

Coca Cola is a leading brand of America that manufactures and sells the beverages that are non alcoholic.  The company sells the aerated drinks that are not considered good for health. In the year 2017, the product of Coca Cola was found contaminated with the human waste in the Northern Ireland. A breach of the law and contamination was found during the quality check. This was however, a segregated event that did not affect the future sales of the company. The consignment that was affected was not sold and was discarded. According to the reports of Food standard agency (FSA), the contaminated products did not reach to the Northern Island market.  Further, the issue was investigated by the PSNI (police service of Northern Ireland) and environmental health unit of Lisburn. This was an ethical breach from the end of the organization that could affect the health of people along with affecting the market position of the company (Metro, 2017).

For the analysis of the ethical issue of Coca Cola, the stakeholder theory will be used. The stakeholders can be defined as the individuals or the group of individuals who are affected by the success or failure of an organization (Harrison & Wicks, 2013). According to Friedman (2006) organizations should be considered as the group of stakeholders and the overall purpose of the organization should be to manage the viewpoints, needs and interests of the stakeholders. The management of the stakeholders should be done by the managers of the organization. The overall purpose of the organization should be to create the value for both the shareholders and stakeholders (Harrison, Freeman, & Abreu, 2015). The major stakeholders of Coca Cola are – Coca-Cola Company, Coca-cola spokesperson, PSNI (Police service of Northern Ireland), FSA (food standard agency), Quality control team at production unit and the team at Knockmore Hill, Lisburn. The ethical issue of quality contamination indicates that the company did not considered creating value for its stakeholders.  The company did not follow the regulation and acted against the interests of its customers. This breach of ethical issue may have harmed the health of the customers.

Stakeholder Analysis and Ethical Implications

The above case on the contamination issue with the products of Cola indicates that there is an issue with the quality check process of the company. The human waste was identified in one of the slots of the Coca Cola drinks in Northern Ireland. The issue was in the packaging of the products. The laws, regulations and the requirements associated with the packaging of the products are intended to preserve the chemical and physical indignity of the food (Sandra, Graves, & Waddock, 2010). The cans used for packaging were contaminated by the human waste. The contamination of the cans by the human waste indicates that no disinfection process was used by the company. In addition, the quality checks were not carried out in each of the production stages. According to the laws of Food Safety Authority, the material used in the packaging should not be contaminated and the material of the packaging should be stored in the conditions where the contamination risk is minimal. The company failed to follow the law and regulations of FSA. The case of contamination of the cans used for the packaging of the drinks was a segregated issue but, it has negatively affected the image of the company especially in the Northern Ireland. The products that are shipped from the other countries need to be checked carefully in terms of the packaging quality of the product.  According to the analysis of current manufacturing process of the company, Coca Cola follows a following process- The containers are filled, sealed, labelled, coded and are then, tested in the automatic plants. There is no use of disinfectants or the quality check of the containers and cans (Coca-cola, 2018).

In order to safeguard the quality of the beverages supplied to the market of other countries, Coca Cola should have ensured the compliance of packaging and production given by the Food safety authority at each and every stage. (Ramos, Valdés, Mellinas, & Garrigós, 2015).The three alternative solutions that can be used by Coca Cola for solving the issue discussed above are given below:

Disinfectants – This is one of the major alternatives that can be used specifically for solving the issue related with the contamination of the cans used for the packaging. A disinfectant can be used for the cans of the Coca Cola so that to ensure that the cans are not contaminated. In this context, Coca Cola should launch a mass disinfection process so as to break the cycle of contamination (Sokovi?, Jovanovi?, Krivokapi?, & Vujovi?, 2009).

Solutions for Mitigating the Issue

 Another alternative that can be used for solving the issue discussed in this particular case is the use of Hygiene audits. The hygiene audits are the food safety audits that provide a complete and comprehensive inspection of the products. The bottling partners of Coca Cola should be trained and instructed to conduct the audits in each of its stage. (Neyestani, 2017).

Total quality management (TQM) – The last alternative that can be followed by Coca Cola for ensuring the safety of the overall process is the Total quality management. This includes the organization wide efforts so as to make a permanent climate of safety. The TQM approach will help in ensuring the compliance and quality at each of the manufacturing stage of Coca Coal – water treatment, syrup production and packaging and filling (Lakhe & Mohanty, 2011).

From the above alternatives following recommendation can be adopted for solving the issue related to packaging:

The current packaging process of Coca Cola is as follows: The containers are filled, sealed, labelled, coded and are then tested in the automatic plants. The plant does not check the contamination in the cans used for packaging. (Coca-cola, 2018). For this purpose, Coca Cola can focus on using disinfectants for the cans. This will ensure that the recycled cans are free of any bacteria or infection (Walden, Lamond, & Field, 2005).

Conclusion 

The above case indicates that quality is important and must be ensured at all the levels of manufacturing and the organizations should focus on the quality of each of the stage rather than the overall quality. Coca Cola did not focus on the quality of its packaging and hence faced major issues. The organization was recommended to use the disinfectants for the cans so that the issue pertaining to contamination can be resolved.

References 

Coca-cola. (2018). Plants and processes. Retrieved 2018, from It.coca-colahellenic.com: https://it.coca-colahellenic.com/en/our-activities/plants-and-processes/production-processes/

Harrison, J. S., & Wicks, A. C. (2013). Stakeholder theory, value, and firm performance. Business Ethics Quarterly, 23(1), 97-124.

Harrison, J. S., Freeman, R. E., & Abreu, M. C. (2015). Stakeholder theory as an ethical approach to effective management: Applying the theory to multiple contexts. Review of Business Management, 17(55), 858-869.

Lakhe, R. R., & Mohanty, R. P. (2011). Total quality management: concepts, evolution and acceptability in developing economies. International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, 11(9), 9-33.

Metro. (2017). Reports of Coca-Cola cans contaminated by human waste spark investigation. Retrieved from Metro.co.uk: https://metro.co.uk/2017/03/28/reports-of-coca-cola-cans-contaminated-by-human-waste-spark-investigation-6539028/

Neyestani, B. (2017, March). Seven Basic Tools of Quality Control: The Appropriate Techniques for Solving Quality Problems in the Organizations. Retrieved from Researchgate.net: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Behnam_Neyestani/publication/315656326_Seven_Basic_Tools_of_Quality_Control_The_Appropriate_Techniques_for_Solving_Quality_Problems_in_the_Organizations/links/58d8b61192851c44d4ad31aa/Seven-Basic-Tools-of-Quality-Contr

Ramos, M., Valdés, A., Mellinas, A. C., & Garrigós, M. C. (2015). New trends in beverage packaging systems: a review. Beverages, 1(4), 248-272.

Sandra, Graves, & Waddock. (2010). Quality of Management and Quality of Stakeholder Relations. Business & society, 36(3), 250-279.

Sokovi?, M., Jovanovi?, J., Krivokapi?, Z., & Vujovi?, A. (2009). Basic Quality Tools in Continuous Improvement Process. Journal of Mechanical Engineering, 55(5), 1-9.

Walden, V. M., Lamond, E. A., & Field, S. A. (2005). Container contamination as a possible source of a diarrhoea outbreak in Abou Shouk camp, Darfur province. Disasters, 29(3), 213-221.

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My Assignment Help (2021) Essay: Coca Cola's Packaging Defects & Contamination - Analysis & Solutions. [Online]. Available from: https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/mgt301a-ethics-and-sustainability/continuous-improvement-process.html
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My Assignment Help. 'Essay: Coca Cola's Packaging Defects & Contamination - Analysis & Solutions.' (My Assignment Help, 2021) <https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/mgt301a-ethics-and-sustainability/continuous-improvement-process.html> accessed 02 March 2024.

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