By Mitchell Weinberg
Let’s be honest, there are two things that drive food companies: profit and branding. Without good branding, there will be no profit. Without profit, there will be no food company.
Food companies make profits with good branding. Keeping those profits requires brand protection. What kinds of events can hurt or destroy food companies? A food safety or food fraud event that sickens or kills people, depending on where the event occurs, can deal a damaging or fatal blow to a food company. When it comes to protecting brands against food safety and food fraud, totally different approaches are required.
Food safety is based in science and established operational protocols. The solutions for preventing food borne illness from known pathogens are well established. Technological improvements in the detection of salmonella and e-coli are rapidly developing, and the audit process and food safety certifications are well established and sound. Where there are food safety problems, an almost daily event, consumers are sensitized to the manner in which they occur and how they are dealt with. While food safety problems are highly predictable, food fraud is almost entirely unpredictable.