Weekly Wrap – 18th September 2013


0.24 – Fonterra product recall

1.07 – What would you do?

1.47 – “But for the grace of God go I” reviews


Hi I am Tom McLeod, Managing Consultant of McLeod Governance.

This is what I would be thinking about this week.

In early August the New Zealand authorities issued a product recall for Fonterra related products which included the compound of whey powder for fear that there was a bacteria that caused botulism.

Whey powder was used in products such as infant formula and sports drinks and was sold in markets such as Australia, New Zealand and its biggest infant formula market being China.

Now the purpose of today’s weekly wrap is to look at the response of Fonterra to this matter.

If you go to the Fonterra website – prominent on their front page is a section about the issue and the product recall.

Now my challenge for you today is – if a similar type of public relations challenge was to happen in your organisation this very moment would the Fonterra response be sufficient for you to manage the subsequent public relations issues?

If it is – what are you doing preparing for that moment? And what lessons can you learn from the Fonterra experience?

If you consider that the Fonterra experience is insufficient – firstly you need to identify why you think it is insufficient and then secondly you need to identify what systems and processes you have in place that would allow you to manage a similar crisis differently.

We can all learn from situations such as the Fonterra bacteria scare in the context of ‘but for the grace of God go I”.  And this is a very important lesson that anyone operating in the area of crisis management or reputation management needs to learn.

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