Different organisations have framed different definitions – although there is considerable common ground between them. Our definition is that CSR is about how companies manage the business processes to produce an overall positive impact on society. Corporate Social Responsibility is the continuing commitment by business to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families as well as of the local community and society at large.
Consumer demand for organic farming products is growing, offering increased business prospects for all sectors of the food supply chain. Crop certification is being facilitated under the internal control system supported by COF, Regular training is being provided by the field staff available with different programmes. The certification is done by a team of field staff, internal inspectors and Quality Managers in coordination with an External Certification Agency.
Initially, a pilot programme of demonstration of certain technologies was taken up in 16 villages of Uttarakhand. Later, it was expanded to 212 villages. The term bio-village has evolved along with the development of demonstration villages to 100 per cent saturation villages where commodity production, certification and market linkage has been established. Presently, 1,200 bio villages are covered under the organic programme and 20,000 farmers have been sensitized.
The tangible results are export of 100 tonnes of organic rice to Germany and a product expansion plan for 400 tonnes of commodities like kidney beans, lentils, buckwheat and millets. An increase of 35-40 per cent in unit price has been realized for the farmers. The groups logged domestic market sales to the tune of Rs. 35 lakh in 2004. Organic producer groups have been trained to semi-process and package the products at the village level itself. A total of 40 organic commodities have been developed, including organic detergents.
A number of farmer groups are actively engaged in exploring organic opportunities and some NGOs are also active in linking farmers with health food activities.