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Business Ethics magazine has come out with its annual list of “100 Best Corporate Citizens,” basing rankings on quantitative measures that identify companies that excel at serving a variety of stakeholders well. Those stakeholders include: shareholders, employees, customers, the community, the environment, overseas stakeholders and women and minorities.

Among the familiar food industry names on this year’s list:

• Procter & Gamble (# 2)
• JM Smucker (# 15)
• Adolph Coors Co. (# 31)
• Clorox Co. (# 33)
• Wild Oats Markets (# 39)
• Starbucks Coffee Co. (# 45)
• Church & Dwight (# 61)
• Weight Watchers International (# 68)
• Whole Foods Market (# 70)
• Kellogg Co. (# 82)
• Sara Lee Corp. (# 87)
• Gillette Co. (# 90)
• Pepsi Bottling Group (# 95)
• Wendy’s International (# 99)

In describing how Procter & Gamble came in second this year, the magazine wrote that the company “excelled in service to minorities and women, and to the community. The firm has donated to help disadvantaged youth in Vietnam, to combat childhood malnutrition in India, and to provide earthquake relief in Turkey. ‘Over 2 million children in developing countries die each year from water-borne diarrheal diseases,’ said P&G spokesperson Terry Loftus. ‘We have developed a technology that allows people in the developing world to clean and disinfect water in their homes at low cost.’

“P&G also makes deposits in nine minority-owned banks, has placed substantial insurance with four minority-owned insurance companies, and is an investor in venture-capital funds for minority businesses. ‘Diversity is a matter of ethics,’ said Loftus. And it’s also a ‘fundamental business strategy,’ since P&G offers over 300 brands in more than 80 countries. ‘Our success depends entirely on our ability to understand these diverse consumers’ needs,’ he said.”
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