Responses of tetra pak limited to changes in the environment
Organizations are environment dependent. The environment in which organizations operate is constantly changing with different factors influencing them. These environmental changes shape opportunities and challenges facing organizations hence the need to adjust to these changes to remain successful in future. This is a case study about the environmental challenges faced by Tetra Pak limited and how it had responded to those challenges. The reasearch design entailed utilization of qualitative research techniques for data collection to better understand how Tetra Pak limited had responded to the environmental challenges facing the company. The design was appropriate as it provided insights into the research problem by desrcibing the challenges and responses in detail. Primary data was collected by conducting personal interviews of the top senior management with the help of an interview guide. The data collected was summarised according to the study themes being the challenges faced by Tetra Pak limited and responses to those challenges. Data was then analyzed using content analysis. The study established that Tetra Pak limited had faced environmental challenges such as intense competition from substitute and alternative packaging solutions for pasteurised milk where they had a monopoly until 2000 in Kenya. Also the study revealed that economic challenges such as high inflation affecting the affordability of processed and packaged milk, high interest rates impacted negatively on cost of doing business. Depreciating Kenyan shillings which had increased the cost of imported inputs such as paperboard for the converting factory in Nairobi and government/political uncertainity led to the collapse of government owned Pan African paper mills in 2009 who supplied more than 50% of Tetra Pak’s requirement for paper board thereby affecting its supply chain. Poor legislation on the use of plastics encouraged the production of plastic pouch, a competitor package for pasteurised milk. All the above were identified as the major challenges that had affected the organization over the last ten years. From the study findings, Tetra Pak limited had responded to these challenges through such initiatives as new product development, development of enterprise resource planning to computerize all the business functions, organizational restructuring, investment in human resource development through training, development of long-term strategic planning, divesting in pasteurised packaging products that were performing poorly in the market, driving the revival of the school milk programme, innovative UHT packaging and processing solutions and use of key account management. In order for the company to continue being successful, the researcher recommends the need for stronger partnerships across the dairy value chain as well as with governments, academia and civil society, to tackle the rising and widening demand for safe and nutritious food and the imperative of achieving this in ways that are both environmentally and socially responsible. This study further gives limitations and suggestions for further research. One of the limitations identified by the researcher included lack of full commitment by respondents to answering the questions due to their busy work schedules. A cross sectional study on the liquid food packaging industry is recommended in order to establish the challenges as well as responses across the industry.
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