Food industry research body the Campden and Chorleywood Food Research Association and risk and crisis communications experts Razor PR have announced a risk analysis and reputation management service for the food industry in the wake of the Sudan 1 scare.
This joint consultancy service is aimed at helping food companies identify their risks and vulnerabilities and put in place effective strategies to minimise any potential damage to their business or reputation should a crisis occur.
“This is the only service of its kind available to the food industry,” said Razor PR director Debbie Parriss. “By combining operational, technical and reputation risk analysis in this way, companies can tap into impartial best practice advice and make sure that their thinking and contingency plans are fully integrated and complimentary.”
“The trend is clear. ‘The court of public opinion’ will in the future dish out far harsher punishment than any legal court in terms of the damage to reputation and resulting impact on the bottom line,” she said. “Companies need to make sure that they have left no stone unturned in their attempts to ensure product safety.”
“Proactive risk and reputation management is of critical importance in the food industry,” said Chris Woodcock, co-owner and director of Razor. “In recent years we have seen the industry respond to an increasing number of issues and crises. GM, allergens and obesity are just some of the issues. And the list gets longer every day, with new threats from bio-terrorism and product tampering. Sudan 1 is the latest wake-up call to everyone involved in the food business to reassess product safety processes.”
These views were further supported by a Razor survey undertaken in the wake of the Sudan 1 crisis that showed that one in three consumers feel less confident about food safety standards after the UK’s biggest ever product recall.
“These operational and reputational challenges will have prompted many companies to re-evaluate the practices and procedures they have in place to assure the safety of their food and drink products,” said Dr Mike Stringer, director of the Food Technology Division, CCFRA. “Our technical and scientific insight, combined with the crisis communication expertise of Razor can help build greater reassurance into product recall, traceability and crisis management plans.”