Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Practices in Coffee Producer Farmers’ Cooperative Unions: The Case of Bench-Maji, Kaffa, and Sheka Zones, South Western Ethiopia. (Published)
Cooperative enterprise is one of the business enterprises with its peculiar characteristics of solving its members’ economic, social, and cultural problems where individuals couldn’t solve alone. The seventh ICA principle of “concern for community” clearly urges the cooperatives to carry out sustainable community development activities. Even though the cooperatives are serving the community directly or indirectly, their sight to the concept Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is not clearly considered by their members, academicians, and the government. The objective of this study was to assess the practices performed by Coffee Producer Farmers’ Cooperative Unions regarding Corporate Social Responsibility for community development at the study area. For this study both primary and secondary data source were used. The size of respondents was 395 members of Cooperative Society and 50 Government officials. The data was analyzed using MS Excel and SPSS version 20. The finding shows that there are job creation, supply of agricultural input, and expansion of coffee processing industry for serving both members and non-members, whereas drawback on the awareness creation to the community, absence of participation of community during planning, implementing, and evaluating community concerned project, limited and inconsistent allocation of community concerned fund, non-representing Corporate Social Responsibility financial statements at unions’ offices for CSR budget. It is recommended as such management body of the unions should participate the community during planning, implementing, and evaluating socially responsible projects, cooperative social responsibility practices should be thoroughly supervised and supported by the government, cooperatives from their annual surplus should allocate community development fund, both GOs and NGOs working on sustainable development activity at that area must work with cooperatives, and Cooperatives have to maintain separate book of account to record financial activities of cooperative social responsibility practices.