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Case study is Costco

The ethical issue in this case study is Costco sells farmed salmon to its customers and activists believe that farmed salmon is “one of the most harmful aquaculture production systems” both to the salmon and consumers of the salmon. Is it ethical for Costco to sell salmon at an affordable price even though it may be dangerous to the salmon and customers? Costco aims to provide its paid members with quality goods at the lowest price. The quality of this salmon should be something that Costco should be concerned about not just the affordable price.

Costco is failing to live up to its core value of offering a quality product and they need to address this issue. Johnson reports, “The way you respond to stressful events sends important messages about underlying organizational values” (2016, p. 322). Costco has always been a reputable company and if they want to continue to be then this issue should be addressed to their customers. Costco needs to have communication with the activists, do their own research, and offer their customers the best quality product at the best price. If this means they have to take the farmed salmon off the shelves, then that should happen. Costco needs to have clear communicating with their customers on why the salmon was removed and the customers will appreciate their honesty.


Johnson, C.E. (2016). Organizational ethics: A practical approach (3rd Ed.). Los Angeles: Sage Publishers.

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