Ethics in Agriculture: 4 Benefits of Having an Ethics Hotline

Agriculture sustains the world. And no one knows just how vital ag businesses are to the economy, science, health, and sustainability than you. What you may not realize, however, are the significant impacts of ethics violations on your company’s success.

Ethics and integrity should play a role in your agriculture company environment. Any violations could result in poor quality products, substandard services, and a toxic work environment. In addition to any ethics policies you already have in place, it’s also a good idea to consider implementing an ethics hotline. Today, we’ll uncover a few key benefits your ag business could be leveraging by adding an ethics hotline to your reporting process.

An Ethics Hotline for Compliance

From OSHA compliance guidelines to food regulations, your company likely abides by a strict benchmark of rules. Violating those rules, even accidentally, could result in steep fines and penalties. Having an ethics hotline in place means allowing every employee, vendor, and guest to monitor and report concerns. Those calls can immediately be brought to management’s attention for investigation and resolution before they become costly violations.

An Ethics Hotline Can Prevent Harassment

Whenever you assemble individuals in a shared workplace, you run the risk of conflicts. But you have a zero-tolerance policy for any form of harassment, sexual or otherwise. Unfortunately, having language in your employee handbook won’t necessarily deter harassment from happening. Consider implementing an ethics hotline and educating everyone from production to the truck drivers. The hotline will reinforce your position, and you’ll be providing all employees with a method of reporting any instances of harassment when they witness or encounter it. Be sure to detail consequences, too, including your investigation process and potential termination.

Ethics Hotlines for Health

Depending on what your company contributes to the agriculture industry, you might also have certain responsibilities to preserve health, wellness, and nutrition. Violations or compromises in food integrity or quality control processes could result in serious issues. Mishaps happen and so do breakdowns in the front-line process all the time. It’s the timely identification and resolution of those concerns that can mitigate any potential damages. And having an ethics hotline could be the first line of defense your ag business needs to help.

Ethics Hotlines for Environmental Protection

Whether your business model focuses on research and development or plays a direct role in food production, you have a responsibility to the environment that many other industries don’t. Sustainability and environmentally safe practices are paramount in most agriculture business strategies. Violations could be detrimental to the bottom line, in addition to the environment itself. As the business leader of your organization, you, unfortunately, can’t keep an eye on every layer of operations yourself. An ethics hotline can deputize everyone within your business to keep a keen eye on potential environmental violations.

Ethics in agriculture matters, and you might be re-evaluating your company ethics policies for the new year. Consider adding an ethics hotline to your compliance plan for these key benefits. Your teams can have one easy and convenient resource to report concerns without fear of retaliation because of the hotline’s anonymous nature. Let Ethical Advocate help you set up your hotline today and position your ag company for compliance and sustainability in 2022!