On October 19th, the Orkestra company belonging to the Basque Institute of Competitiveness, of the Deusto foundation through ACCIÓ, presented to all Cluster Managers a new trend of “Shared Value” on social challenges and shared value. The objective of the day was to explain the concept, success stories, create work dynamics for groups and encourage clusters to implement transformative initiatives for their partners.
The society faces important social problems, environmental challenges and economic development. The Government and NGOs do not have the resources and ability to fully meet these challenges alone. Only companies can create economic prosperity, meeting social needs, and generating benefits. Therefore, a new approach. It is necessary to reconsider the business around problems, social deficits and environmental impacts, as they generate economic costs for businesses. Weaknesses in the community affect the productivity of the company. Social needs represent tremendous unfulfilled market opportunities. To understand the concept, we need to look beyond purely economic indicators such as productivity, GDP, per capita income, etc … and integrate social status.
Economic and social progress must be linked and both must be measured together and not exclusively dependent on income. Clusters play a relevant role in aligning strategies between companies and the territory and establish common or shared challenges where different agents have different parts of the solution or the solutions need a certain scale or too critical. They therefore have a great potential to contribute at the same time to the social and economic.
The Foodservice cluster participated in the workshop in working groups with other Clusters such as the pig sector, water and self-employment to create joint internal and external value-added strategies to improve productivities of labor, the valuation of by-products, reduce waste, improve hypoproteic diets, reduce waste and pollutants in companies to generate less environmental impact. The axiom is to satisfy social needs, obtaining an economic benefit in return, which is an evolution of CSR (corporate social responsibility, the old philanthropy).
Competitiveness goes on to say socioeconomic competitiveness. The social needs must be identified and the opportunities for the business expand. Scalable social impact, since the social value is imbricated in the business itself.
Companies, working in collaboration, can catalyze major improvements in the cluster and in the local business environment. The process would be as follows:
- • Identify groups of clients that have been badly treated or overlooked by the industry
- • Think about terms of improving lives, not only to meet conventional needs
- • Start without preconceptions about the attributes of the product, the chain configuration or the economic model of the business
- • Greater sense in the corporation and in the market.
This session opens the door to the search for new collaborative projects that allow clusters and their members to develop strategies that incorporate social vision as a transformation of the economic model of the sectors they represent. The IRC Connectivity Boosting Initiatives subsidy line, which this year has a budget of € 1.5m, is planning to fund initiatives in this area.
Upcoming steps that give continuity to the trend of Shared Value for Cluster Foodservice partners.
1. In December we will have a specific work session on real projects of companies that work on this methodology in which we will invite a specialized consultant. The goal is that you can use it to get more visibility on how you can engage your partners.
2. Between January and February 2018 we will have a training session equivalent to that of October 19th, but specifically aimed at companies in your clusters.
3. During the first quarter of 2018 we will start with the cluster-level consulting projects, where the participants in the initiative can work on the definition of specific strategic goals for your cluster. The idea is to start working in parallel in specific projects.