CSV Forum's Era of Collaboration

At the birth of the 21st century, no one knows what the future holds for every country, company, society or even to individuals. The success on one thing leads to failure of another. It is such great news to everybody that, now, the global economic crisis we had a year ago is slightly fading away, giving our country’s economy a more stable future. People are gaining back their lost jobs or if not, getting a new one. While some, with the help of some financial companies, were able to establish small and medium enterprises.

But with all these success, how long can we say that this crisis will not happen again? How can we assure ourselves that these problems will not occur again and will cause damage much worst than what we had?

Good thing that there are companies here and abroad who are willing to sacrifice themselves to prove that they can make a change – for a better company, for a better society, for a better country, for a better future of every individual.

In the Creating Shared Value (CSV) Forum held last April 23, 2010, a certain Harvard professor and social responsibility expert named Mark Kramer told that corporations and society stakeholders - including government, NGOs and aid agencies - to enter into a new era for their mutual benefit – the ERA OF COLLABORATION.

Mark Kramer

In order to face many challenges of the 21st century, including global warming, limited resources, mass poverty, and environmental damage, etc., businesses, governments, NGOs, and society at large must enter into a new Era of Collaboration,” says Kramer.

He set as an example to this “Era of Collaboration” was the Aspen Pharmacare’s (of South Africa) action towards selling medications for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria at affordable prices - costing about a third to half their regular retail prices. Lowering the prices of these drugs is crucial to the health and survival of poor South African patients.

Aspen Pharmacare decided to cater to poorer patients by discovering ways to drive down the cost structure of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria treatments. As a result, Aspen Pharmacare is now South Africa’s leading drug company, with 40% annual growth; at the same time, more poor patients now avail of life-saving medicines at prices they can afford. An example of how a company can become competitive and profitable by benefiting the society where it operates.

This CSV Forum was organized by Nestlé Philippines with the Asian Development Bank, the Philippine Business for Social Progress and the Asian Institute of Management RVR Center for Social Responsibility to share its business philosophy, one that has been in place since Nestlé was founded almost 140 years ago.

Even before the term CSV was coined, Nestlé has already practicing the core value of this idea that informs all its business decisions. In the Philippines alone, Nestlé is supporting the livelihood of some 30,000 small Filipino farmers and their families. Mainly, this is done through the Nestlé Experimental and Demonstration Farm (NEDF) in Davao

John Miller
 President and CEO of Nestle Philippines Inc. (NPI)

“The NEDF provides free training to farmers on the most effective practices and technologies to increase the quality and quantity of their harvests as well as these farmers’ incomes. That partnership, forged to ensure the quality and supply of Nescafé, has been a beneficial one for both the farmers and the company through several decades,” says Nestlé Philippines SVP and Head of Corporate Affairs, Edith de Leon

While Nestlé Philippines, has the “Laki sa Gatas” and BOW (Business on Wheels) programs. Laki sa Gatas teaches elementary school kids, their parents and teachers to practice basic nutrition habits daily, while BOW provides livelihood to its members giving them an opportunity to shine and be successful the way they wanted to be.

The said forum also featured experts who discussed other urgent challenges affecting corporations and society today. It focused on topics particularly on Nutrition, Water and Rural Development.

Dr. Mario Capanzana of Food and Nutrition Research Council spoke on Nutrition, while Mr. Arjun Thapan of Special Senior Advisor to the President on Infrastructure and Water of the Asian Development Bank talked about water management. Chairman Antonio Meloto of Gawad Kalinga discussed about Rural Development. 

 Dr. Mario Capanzana (top-left), Mr. Arjun Thapan (top-right),  
Antonio Meloto (bottom)

At this time of our lives, where the value of life, may it be human being or the nature, is at stake and the well-being of every company that keeps our live going is rising again from the fall that it had, Creating Shared Value is a great stepping stone for both – society and company - to thrive and progress in the middle of these challenges.

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