Preventing a Recall-Protecting Your Business

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  • 1. Preventing a Recall-Protecting Your Business John Kimber Director NC Sweet Potato Commission Foundation
  • 2. It’s a Balancing Act
    • PROTECTING Your Business
    • GROWING Your Business
  • 3. Our Hour Together….
    • Sweet Potato Culinary Education Video documenting what we have to protect .
    • Food Safety: Opinion & facts; how the food industry got to this critical juncture .
    • What is the NC sweet potato industry doing to protect itself, a quick review.
  • 4. NC Sweet Potato Culinary Videos
    • The NC Sweet Potato Culinary Educational Videos can be viewed on line at:
    • http://ncsweetpotatoes.com/menu-featured-chef/educational-videos.html
  • 5. Editorial Opinion and a few Facts- One Persons View
    • Today's insistence that food be safe is just an example of
    • CONSUMER DEMAND .
  • 6. Editorial Opinion and a few Facts- One Persons View
    • Today's insistence that food be safe is just an example of CONSUMER DEMAND.
    • Why?
      • Mama left the kitchen decades ago
  • 7. Eating Trends
    • In 2005, 69% of women with children under 18 were working (22% in 1955); overall 68% of all married women were working (25% in 1955).
    • 68% of adults said their favorite restaurant foods provide flavor and taste sensations which cannot easily be duplicated in their home kitchen.
    • Restaurant Industry Sales up
  • 8. Editorial Opinion and a few Facts- One Persons View
    • Today's insistence that food be safe is just an example of CONSUMER DEMAND.
    • Why?
      • Mama left the kitchen decades ago
      • We don’t know or fully trust those doing food
  • 9. Consumer Confidence
    • Consumer confidence in food safety plunges in wake of peanut butter contamination, University of Minnesota study finds
    • The Trends survey found that safety concerns prompted 38% of consumers to stop purchasing certain foods in the past 12 months--up from 9% in 2006. Among products people stopped buying, beef ranked among the top four: spinach (71%), lettuce (16%), bagged salad (9%) and beef (8%).
  • 10. Editorial Opinion and a few Facts- One Persons View
    • Today's insistence that food be safe is just an example of CONSUMER DEMAND.
    • Why?
      • Mama left the kitchen decades ago
      • We don’t know or fully trust those doing food
      • Ample evidence of poor attention by those growing, processing, and serving food
  • 11. Whose Responsible?
    • Food Manufacturers Reprimanded by Congress for Safety Lapses (3/20/09)
    • Politics of the Plate: Food Safety Lapses (7/08)
    • FDA Inspection Report of PCA's Georgia Facility Details Lapses in Food Safety Protocols
    • Multi-State Outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 Infections From Spinach
  • 12. Editorial Opinion and a few Facts- One Persons View
    • Today's insistence that food be safe is just an example of CONSUMER DEMAND.
    • Why?
      • Mama left the kitchen decades ago
      • We don’t know or fully trust those doing food
      • Ample evidence of poor attention by those growing, processing, and serving food
      • Food allergens are on the rise
  • 13. Allergies Trend Upward
    • In 2007, approximately 3 million children under age 18 years (3.9%) were reported to have a food or digestive allergy in the previous 12 months.
    • From 1997 to 2007, the prevalence of reported food allergy increased 18% among children under age 18 years.
    • Children with food allergy are 2x to 4x more likely to have other related conditions such as asthma and other allergies, compared with children without food allergies.
  • 14. Editorial Opinion and a few Facts- One Persons View
    • Today's insistence that food be safe is just an example of CONSUMER DEMAND.
    • Why?
      • Mama left the kitchen decades ago
      • We don’t know or fully trust those doing food
      • Ample evidence of poor attention by those growing, processing, and serving food
      • Food allergens are on the rise
      • Consumers know science is available that assures better food safety
  • 15. Who told ‘em we can do better?
    • HACCP developed by Pillsbury and NASA in 1960’s for safely feeding astronauts.
    • Adopted by low-acid canning industry in ‘70’s.
    • Following JIB E.coli issue in ‘93 began being mandated for meat/poultry processors.
    • More sophisticated retail and foodservice companies began insisting their suppliers follow HACCP principles for many products.
    • Today's program follows the key elements of HACCP: understand, plan, implement, verify
  • 16. Summary-The Critical Juncture
    • Consumers are demanding consistently safe foods for their families.
    • The basic technology is available now.
    • Serious lapses have occurred.
    • Legislation is assuredly going to be passed
    • A shake out will occur; those not getting the message will be put out of business.
    • Producing safe food is a moral imperative.
  • 17. The NC Sweet Potato Industry
    • $150 million farm gate receipts; up 136% since 2001.
    • 350 growers, 29 packer shippers
    • Sweet potatoes are considered a low risk crop
    • However, sweet potatoes grow in the dirt; dirt has pathogens.
    • Our industry wants to be prepared JUST IN CASE an issue arises
  • 18. What we are doing
    • Encouraging GAP and Global GAP certification for growers.
    • Developing a five part GAP training program to encourage participation.
    • Developing a produce traceability program for the NC sweet potato industry.
    • Developing baseline crop chemical data.
    • Developing a Crisis Management Program.
  • 19. Crisis Management Program
    • Q: I came to a class on Preventing Recalls why am I hearing about Crisis Management?
    • A: To effectively prevent having recalls you need to have a coherent plan in place to manage the unexpected.
    • A: Flying by the seat of your pants doesn’t work in the middle of a serious problem.
  • 20. Crisis Issues
    • A crisis is a situation that is likely to ignite widespread negative or incorrect publicity that will economically impact the industry. Type of crisis would encompass, but not be limited to:
    • foodborne illness incident
    • allegations about levels of chemical residues
    • a government report tying laborer illness/disease
    • immigrant labor
    • consumer boycotts
    • internal misconduct
    • labor safety
    • financial threats to the industry
    • legislation or court action threatening the industry
    • fend off a GMO accusation
  • 21. Situation Analysis
    • Key Facts –What are the confirmed facts that are known?
    • Critical Unknowns – What critical information do you not have, or cannot yet verify, but must determine as quickly as possible?
    • Time Drivers – What are the key inquiries, developments, or deadlines that will be driving your decisions or actions?
    • Issue Drivers – Who or what is behind the crisis (if anyone) or driving it? Who or what is poised to exploit it?
    • Key Messages – What are the primary messages that are most important to communicate, especially in the first 12 hours?
    • Key Audiences – Who are the key audiences that are most important to reach?
  • 22. Role During a Crisis
    • The Organization’s Role and Responsibility in a Crisis
    • Define what is the crisis.
    • Defend NC sweet potato industry standards.
    • Act as a liaison to facilitate information between federal and state agencies.
    • Provide public relations counsel and advice via its agencies.
    • Speak on behalf of the NC sweet potato industry; defer speaking on behalf of the entire US sweet potato industry.
    • Cannot defend individual business practices.
  • 23. Crisis Management Team
    • Establish a Crisis Management Team
    • The crisis team is comprised of individuals from the industry, staff and third-party experts who are trained and prepared to discuss the issues, define a position, determine the action required and interact with the media
  • 24. Action Steps
    • Key crisis manager should watch developments closely to determine if there is a crisis and, to judge the possible scope of the crisis, and to create appropriate responses.
    • Staff should begin to define the scope of the crisis. Gather and validate the facts. Is it of local, regional, national or international concern?
    • Key crisis manager conducts situation analysis to help determine appropriate steps and responses.
    • If appropriate, Declare a Crisis, Convene the Crisis Team and Assess the Crisis Scenario:
    • Key crisis manager calls crisis team together via teleconference or in person at designated location.
    • Staff continues to define the scope of the crisis. Gather and validate the facts.
  • 25. Action Steps Continued
    • How serious of a risk does the crisis pose? Should legal counsel be hired?
    • Designate industry spokesperson for news conference/media interviews – Executive Director, President of Board, and if grower/shipper requested, a member of the crisis committee.
    • Alert and recruit third-party experts, e.g. university researchers, government officials to respond to media inquiries. [NCDA, Farm Bureau, etc]
    • Determine whether staff needs to be physically present at crisis venue
    • Offer help to NC sweet potato industry members
    • Determine what audiences are affected and need to be informed. In what order? Via what type of communication vehicle? (e.g. phone call, fax, e-mail, web site)
  • 26. Holding Statements
    • Develop “holding” statement for media, based on crisis specifics, as examples:
    • Be brief
    • Create visuals that will put the situation in perspective
    • Show compassion and express concern for others
    • Demonstrate progress and be solution-oriented
    • Look for ways to give consumers control over situation
  • 27. NEWS FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Date/Time CONTACT: Sue Johnson Langdon Executive Director NC Sweet Potato Commission 919-894-1067 Email and website STATEMENT BY THE NORTH CAROLINA SWEET POTATO COMMISSION ON REPORTS OF FOOD BORNE ILLNESS Benson, NC (Date) The North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission [NCSPC] is working closely with public health officials and consumers to determine the cause of _______________________________________________________________. “ We’re doing everything we can to help the authorities find the cause of this problem and our hearts go out to the families who are involved in this situation,” said NCSPC Executive Director Sue Johnson Langdon. “Providing people with healthy, nutritious sweet potatoes has always been the goal of every North Carolina sweet potato farmer, shipper and exporter in our states industry. Sweet Potatoes are their livelihood – making sure sweet potatoes are safe to eat is in everyone’s best interest.”
  • 28. Media Contact Guidelines
    • Develop talking points to cover relevant issues and update as feasible.
    • Determine who to communicate with, including industry members, the media and the public.
    • When called, establish media person’s name, use best speaker when a negative story likely.
    • Get the facts, answer the questions.
  • 29. Stay on Top of the Crisis:
    • Begin monitoring of electronic and print media.
    • Keep industry organizations appraised of progress, new developments.
    • Update web site.
    • Update media and other external audiences, as appropriate, 24/7 if major crisis
    • Be accessible to media and key audiences. Provide after‑hour phone numbers to reporters. Return calls to media as quickly as possible and keep a call log.
    • Record events and crisis-team responses as the crisis evolves
  • 30. Logging
    • Record events and responses as the crisis unfolds.
    • Use a crisis management log.
    • Don’t just rely on your memory
  • 31. Post Crisis: Assess Damage
    • Assess short- and long-term damage to your business and industry.
    • Evaluate media coverage for placement of desired positioning/key messages.
    • Evaluate performance in executing crisis plan (pay particular attention to web site hits); make adjustments to plan.
    • Reach consensus on long-term strategy to shore up vulnerabilities, address concerns raised by crisis.
    • Review cost of managing crisis and determine future budget based on these expenditures.
  • 32. Now What?
    • Trying to be prepared for a crisis is a tediously detailed process.
    • It’s thought provoking, mind numbing really, as you hope it will never happen.
    • Sometimes it does happen though and all the pre-planning helps you survive and actually grow your business.
  • 33. Thank you!