Background: Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is the most important tool for implementing Sustainability Guidelines for Business (US20030018487A1), delivering economic, social and environmental benefits for all the stakeholders and is currently the focus of international studies and debates (US7260559B1), especially in the agri-food sector as demonstrated by recent patents (CA2862273A1). In most agri-food businesses operating in Italy, there is little effectiveness in the communication strategies of this instrument to the stakeholders since they are often not advanced.
Methods: Identifying the first two food companies in the European ranking of the 6th CSR Online Awards, through an empirical survey on consumers, their level of perception of the CSR strategies communication of these companies will be analyzed.
Results: In both case studies analyzed, there is the presence of a Sustainability Orientation and the evolution of CSR tools within such companies and their promotion and communication to all the stakeholders. Despite this, the level of perception of respondents on the CSR strategies communication of these companies and the promotion of CSR instruments is not optimal.
Conclusion: The interviewed consumers have not enriched their knowledge on CSR due to the lack of an adequate communication strategy for both case studies. Consequently, to raise awareness on the subject, there is still a great deal of cooperation needed between public institutions, local communities, businesses and citizens.
Keywords: CSR; Italy; agri-food; communication strategies; consumer perception; local communities; sustainability..
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