Posted: November 29th, 2013
Wal-Mart is the world’s largest retailer, with more than 8700 retail units spread across 15 countries. Last year, the company announced plans to provide customers with healthier and affordable food choices. The company aims to do this by reducing the sodium content of packaged foods by 25%, added sugars by 10%, and eliminating industrially produced trans-fats, by the year 2015. In order for the company to do this, it will have to work together with the suppliers to ensure that they comply with the regulations. This initiative will help people live in a healthier way, and avoid diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Last month, the company launched the Women in Factories program, an initiative aimed to empower 60,000 women working in factories, which supply the company’s products. The women come from China, Central America, Bangladesh, and India. The company will train women in critical life skills, hygiene, reproductive health, communication, gender sensitivity and occupational health and safety, and identifying personal strengths. In addition, the company will provide eight thousand women with leadership training. The company aims to do this in a period of five years.
Administrative law consists of the rules and decisions of different federal, state, and local administrative agencies. The government sets up these agencies to perform specific functions. Most of these functions aim at protecting the consumer. Some of the agencies that will be involved in these initiatives include Food Safety and Inspection Service, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Food and Drug Administration, National Institute of Health, Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Trade Commission, and Consumer Product Safety Commission. These agencies issue rules and regulations that affect the business operations such as its relations with employees, financing activities, and manufacturing and marketing products. The different agencies concerned with food products will ensure that the food sold will be fit for human consumption.
The FDA protects the public’s health by ensuring that all human and veterinary drugs, biological products, food supply, cosmetics, and medical devices are safe. The company will have to pass its products through the FDA to ensure that they are safe for human and animal use. The FSIS ensures that all the meat, poultry and egg products are safe and wholesome. It ensures that these products are labeled and packaged in the correct way. The company will have to incorporate the FSIS to ensure that the food products are safe and healthy. The environmental agencies concerned will ensure that the company will not contribute to downgrading the environment in any way. The trade organizations concerned will ensure that the company will follow all the trade rules including customs, and exports rules and regulations. The agencies ensure that the rules in place protect the consumers. Deceptive advertising is applicable in the first initiative. This is especially the case with the company’s initiative to improve the sodium, fat and sugar content in the food products. Reducing these products in the foods will lead to improves health, yet the company cannot claim that this will reduce diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure in people. The company should therefore be careful concerning how it advertises these products, and the kind of information it passes on to the consumer (Cross & Miller, 2011).
The company has developed online retail, as a way of reaching more clientele, and competing with other industry players. The company will use the same means to sell the healthy food products that it uses to sell the other products. E commerce has benefited many companies. Some companies find it easier to use online retailing instead of the traditional brick and mortar stores because there are fewer costs involved. The Federal Trade Commission regulates e commerce activities, and the company should be aware of all the regulations pertaining to online retailing. The commission regulates advertising and consumer privacy among other elements of e commerce. The company should be aware of security standards and regulations, especially concerning payment. It should follow the rules established by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council. The company has to manage and protect the customer’s privacy and financial data. The company collects personal information from customers such as contact details and credit card information. This will avoid instances of identity theft.
The company should make the customers aware of how it will use this personal information. It should let the customers know whether it is going to share this information with anybody. Just as the case with the traditional stores, the company should ensure that it does not result to deceptive advertising. Online retailers are subject to relevant taxes, and the company should ensure that it pays all the required taxes. Different laws apply concerning tax collection in online retailing. Online retailers that have a physical store in the state usually charge taxes while those without a physical presence do not charge taxes. The Uniform Electronic Transactions Act facilitates e commerce by reducing barriers to e commerce, and legalizing e documents, e contracts and e signatures (Blythe & Blythe).
The company should follow the rules and regulations of the country it is located. The initiative of training and empowering women may be a noble venture, but the company should ensure that it complies with the tax laws in the countries of operation. It is likely that the company will not face restrictions when implementing the second initiative of training women in different countries. The company will be providing a beneficial service to the employees by empowering them, and this will benefit the country. However, the company should be careful regarding the selection criteria that it will use to determine those who have qualified for the training and the leadership program. It is likely that some of the women who are excluded might feel that the company was not fair in its selection.
To minimize the threat of lawsuits, the company must ensure that it complies with the rules and regulations set by different government authorities and agencies. This is especially in the case of food and food products. The company must ensure that it follows the regulations established by the Food Safety and Inspection Service, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The company should inform all the suppliers concerning the imminent changes at a reasonable period, so that they are able to make the necessary adjustments. This is to maintain goodwill with the customers, and to ensure that the products are available once the company implements the plans. The company should also give the suppliers considerable time to make changes. By doing this, the suppliers cannot claim that they were not aware of the company’s decision. Products manufactured or produced in other countries may be subject to tariffs and quotas. Failure to pay may result to lawsuits. Some of the food products at Wal-Mart stores are manufactured from different countries around the world.
The company should ensure that it follows all the rules and procedures to avoid any lawsuits. When working abroad, U.S. employers must ensure that they adhere to the U.S. discrimination laws, unless doing so would violate the rules of the host country (Miller & Jentz, 2007). The second initiative involves working with, and training women from different countries, most of them in Asia, where the company gets most of its supplies. The training and empowering program will benefit the women working in these factories. If the company does not have a similar program that will benefit the women working in the US, or in other countries around the world, then the company can face discrimination charges. The company should ensure that it does not neglect other workers, or other people in the production chain.
Blythe, E. S., & Blythe, E. S. (2011). E-commerce law around the world: A concise handbook. Xlibris Corporation
Cross, B. F., & Miller, L. R. (2011). The legal environment of business: Text and cases: Ethical, regulatory, global, and corporate issues. New York, NY: Cengage Learning
Funk, F. W., & Seamon, H. R. (2009). Administrative law. New York, NY: Aspen Publishers
Miller, L. R., & Jentz, A. G. (2007). Business law today: The essentials. New York, NY: Cengage Learning
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