Monday, February 2, 2009

Winnipeg Business Can Learn From Maple Leaf Foods

You can't help but applaud the job that Michael McCain - President and CEO of Maple Leaf Foods - has done since last years listeria outbreak. With the company facing a national image crisis, McCain has been able to turn a corporate nightmare into standard business practice.

From the t.v. commercials to the full page newspaper ads, McCain has taken full accountability for the problem that occurred; and has managed to spin the entire issue into a corporate strength. Listeria - from everything I've read - seems to be an inevitable occurrence. The problem has been kept under wraps in the industry until last year's outbreak. Now - in addition to a public apology and open door policy to the press on the matter - McCain drives ahead in waters not normally ventured by big corporations - honesty. Huh? Who would've thunk it?

I quote "The greatest risk to the Canadian food-safety system is the multitude of Canadian plants which do not find positive test results simply because they don't test adequately. If you test, you will find and you can eradicate with the proper protocols. If you don't test you won't find, but there will be no eradication which is the real food safety risk in this country."

Need I say more? What will be interesting is seeing how many competitors will begin reporting listeria cases of their own - and if they don't - what the public opinion will be?

So Winnipeg Business... what dirty secrets do you hide? What industry ghosts are lurking in your darkest corners, away from the public light? Can honesty position your company ahead of your competition? Consumers are only getting smarter, which is directly related to the ease in information the internet has provided. You can run, but you can't hide. Maybe its time to to put your anxieties to rest and be open with what worries you the most about your service to Winnipeggers? What's worse being honest or being discovered?

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