There are no gray areas when it comes to ethics.
For some, ethics are like a fashion statement that can be put on or taken off to fit a certain situation. At Sargento, we live by our code of business and personal ethics 24 hours a day. It is our hope – and our expectation – that our employees and business associates will do the same.
You might say everything we believe in is found in the Golden Rule – “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” We’ve all heard that from parents and teachers since we were children. Our company was built on this type of ethical behavior. It is the foundation of our culture, and of our success.
The Sargento code of business and personal ethics calls upon each of us to be legal, honest, moral, respectful, responsible, and fair. This is true in our relationships with our suppliers, our customers, our consumers, our co-workers, and our competitors. It is true all the time, in every circumstance – just like the Golden Rule. There are no gray areas when it comes to ethics.
As a company, we choose to value ethical behavior. We choose to demand it.
At Sargento, less-than-ethical behavior will not be rewarded. In fact, it will not be tolerated. This holds true whether you’re an officer of our company or working on one of the lines. There is no three-strikes-you’re-out policy when it comes to ethical behavior. Act ethically and we want you to be part of our family. Act unethically, and we don’t. It’s that simple.
While we are a profit-oriented company, it is our expectation that these profits will never come at the expense of ethical behavior. In a world where others may try to compete by bending the lines of moral behavior, we never will. In the end, we have confidence and pride that comes from knowing the battles we win will be won fairly.
We know, too, that ultimately, our moral code and culture will be what sets us apart from our competitors. It always has, and it always will. Great products are one thing. Great people are the most important thing. We require ethical behavior because it makes us a better company and it makes us better people. Ultimately, we reap additional benefits: Our products will be better. Our customers will reward us with loyalty. Our reputation as a company with a strong moral code will be strengthened. And we will feel better about the work that we do and the people we have become.