Social Audit of Oromia Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union, Oromia Region, Ethiopia

Publication Date : 13/12/2014

Author(s) :

M. Karthikeyan .

Volume :
Volume 10

Abstract :

Social Audit is one of the evaluation methods applied to the organizations, which are engaged in commercial and social activities. The objective of social audit is to bring to light for public knowledge how far an organization has discharged its responsibilities to the society and to make an assessment of the social performance of an organization. Here, social audit has particular relevance, because it reinforces the cooperative’s “commitment to social improvement which lies at the heart of the co-operative philosophy”. The present study is unique in Ethiopia in the context of changing role assigned to the cooperatives. The main objective of this study is the application of the social audit measures on the social responsibilities of Oromia Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union (OCFCU). Case study method is adopted for the present study. All the Board of Directors, all the employees, 100 members and 100 non-members are selected as samples. Stakeholder survey as a social audit model is employed to elicit information from the stakeholders of the union. The collected data are processed through SPSS and social audit measures are used to analyze and assess the relationship of cooperative activities with the stakeholders of the union. Oromia Coffee Farmers Cooperative union is a small holder coffee grower owned cooperative union established in June 1, 1999 by 34 cooperatives with 22,503 farmers and capital ETB 825,000 ($90,000). To date there are 217 cooperatives with 202,397 households and capital ETB 161, 575, 474. Annual coffee production is 202,524 tons and area under cultivation is 327,921 ha. OCFCU is a democratic member owned business operating under the principles of International Cooperative Alliance and one among objectives is to improve the social conditions of farmers. With their fair trade premiums they have constructed four schools, two health clinics and clean water supply tanks. They now have a cupping lab located at their office and are in the process of constructing two warehouses. They hope to have their own processing plant within the next three years. The union has accomplished very many social projects for the well being of the community where it exists. This union is a model for other cooperatives in fulfilling the social objectives in relation to stakeholders. The results out of stakeholders survey reveals that the union is sincerely adhered to and practice the principle of “Concern for Community”.

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