Product recall coverage has a publicity element. California Ag Today recently spoke with Caitlin McGrath, national product recall and contamination risk consultant with Lockton Insurance Brokers, about the importance of the topic.
Product recall coverage’s publicity element can be adverse, with the accusation of contamination coming into play.
“The example I always use is a mom who puts online a food item that made her kid sick, and this gets shared 100,000 times. You get calls from your customers, supermarkets, and drug stores asking you to stop sending your product,” McGrath said.
If products are not selling, that can be a very significant loss.
“Most recalls are voluntary. They have to be reported to the FDA if they are going to cause bodily injury or property damage,” McGrath said.
She suggests having an internal communication and external communication setup. Be aware of what testing labs you are going to use, what PR companies you are going to use.
Many times, companies try to execute their recall and are not ready for the customer demands.
“Sometimes customers are coming to them and saying, ‘you owe us all this money,’ ” McGrath said. “It is important to have the plans for the whole logistics of the recall.”
For many small San Joaquin Valley cities that have relied on agriculture to support their local economies, the four-year drought in California has dramatically increased unemployment and decreased business revenue. Mendota, a city west of Fresno, hit hard with a 45% unemployment rate, has constructively made calculated adjustments by residents and farmers to recover to its pre-drought economic level, according to Robert Silva, mayor of this resilient city.
“As we have been going through the drought the last four years,” Silva explained, “Mendota [nicknamedCantaloupe Center of the World] has been in the spotlight for its high unemployment, and a lot of our farmers are having a rough time. We have had a lot of bad publicity.”
“In the last year or so we have weathered all this,” he stated, “and things are positive now. Our farmers are really understanding how to use every drop of water. We have a lot of new business coming into the community. We have a housing boom that continues to grow, so things are definitely on the rise and we’re standing very proud.”
“A few years ago, high unemployment forced many people to move away, suddenly creating school classrooms with very few students; however, that has changed too,” said Silva. “Student enrollment is growing and we have added on another school. It is very positive in Mendota; the doom and gloom of a few years ago has gone. Really, it’s gone.”
“Financially we’re in good shape and businesses are prospering,” Silva summarized. “It’s good for our city, good for our citizens, and good for business.”
A new television campaign for ‘Grapes from California’ launched in June on the Food Network.
“These commercials showcase the natural beauty, easy versatility and great taste of California grapes while communicating the value of sharing life’s special moments with family and friends, and the care that growers put into growing,” said Kathleen Nave, president of the California Table Grape Commission.
These 30-second commercials, the first two of a planned series of six, are seen during shows like, “Trisha Yearwood’s Southern Kitchen,” “Sandra’s Money Saving Meals,” “Home for Dinner with Jamie Deen,” and “Diners, Drive-ins & Dives.”
The Grapes from California commercials will run through December and and will be used in future seasons.