ProFound helped develop company action plans for participants in the South African export coaching programme, as well as a sector strategy to improve sustainability in the country’s natural ingredients sector. We supported a sector analysis and company audits focusing on corporate social responsibility. Together with CBI’s CSR manager, experts and Sandra Kruger and Associates in South Africa, ProFound adjusted existing CSR tools to cater to realities on the ground in South African natural ingredients – particularly for wild-collected ingredients. These tools will also prove useful in other natural ingredient programmes.
The outcomes of the analysis were quite clear: although awareness of some CSR issues is high, for example related to environment and fair labor, not many companies actually have policies in place. Others only have policies and practices for some areas. Companies need to do a risk-analysis to see where CSR risks exist in their particular situation and develop measures accordingly. Not only for their own companies – they also need to extend their attention to their suppliers. This can mean a need for supplier codes of conduct, training and supplier audits. Companies are also not documenting and communicating about their practices. Not only does this make it difficult to certify or show compliance, but it also reduces options for marketing sustainability practices.