In spite of being a young organization established only six years ago, Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority ADFCA) has implemented a comprehensive corporate social responsibility (CSR) program that conforms to the requirements of ISO 26000, the globally recognized standards and specifications governing CSR, said Mohamed Jalal Al Reyaysa, Director of Communication and Community Service at ADFCA.
Al Reyaysa made the remarks yesterday during a keynote address he gave at the Gulf Conference on Social Responsibility and ISO 26000 held at Westin Hotel, Abu Dhabi by ISO and Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology.
While much of the core business areas of ADFCA themselves comprised areas of community service, the Authority went far beyond its mandate and set up a community arm specifically to design and implement a CSR program, allocating 0.025 of its annual operational budget for the purpose, Al Reyaysa pointed out. He said a crucial element in this was the directive and guidance from HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE, Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chairman of ADFCA Board.
ISO 26000 is intended to assist organizations in contributing to sustainable development. It is intended to encourage them to go beyond legal compliance. It is intended to promote common understanding in the field of social responsibility. ADFCA is pioneering a unique method of activating its role in corporate social responsibility, encouraging participation of the staff in various community service initiatives, Al Reyaysa said.
"ADFCA unveiled its social responsibility policy even before ISO 26000 came into effect. ADFCA set up in 2009 a community service arm for itself named Auwn (assistance), which is authorized to spend the money allocated for the purpose wisely and effectively. Auwn's activities target a host of needy sections of the society, such as the elderly people, special needs people, the sick, orphans, students, residents of remote areas, prisoners and so on," he explained.
Educational support for the poor and needy, care and support for special needs people, support for charitable activities, attending to the other needs of underprivileged sections, support programs aimed at strengthening national identity, environmental protection, support for small and medium-sized food businesses to strengthen food security, support for creative and commercial activities done by needy sections and visits to hospitals are among the main activities undertaken by Auwn. Auwn is now diversifying and intensifying its activities to cover the requirements of ISO 26000 in as comprehensive a manner as possible.