With Thanksgiving just celebrated and with yearend holidays nearing at breakneck speed, it is the right moment for grain-based foods not just to give thanks but to undertake steps that reflect appreciation for the marvelous opportunities the industry has had. This is particularly important in an era when business at large, especially its financial sector, has been subject to severe criticism for disregarding responsibility to society. Thus, it is especially pleasing to see two grain-based foods associations undertake out of the ordinary actions to reflect what they owe to this country.

At its recent meeting in Washington, the North American Millers’ Association began its sessions with a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery followed by honoring milling employees who have served in the armed forces. Both events proved "somber and moving," according to observers. And then the staff of the American Bakers Association participated in an Operation Blessing International program to fill and distribute grocery bags to help feed 3,000 needy families.

Coincidentally, all of this was happening just as management consultants were marking the 100th anniversary of the birth of the late Peter Drucker. Mr. Drucker was one who stressed how important it is for business to operate in environments where carrying out social responsibilities does not fall short. Both NAMA and the A.B.A. win praise for taking actions that display their commitment to what Mr. Drucker aptly called "the social compact of business."