Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Fonterra’s false alarm shows danger of ‘crying wolf’


30 August 2013


Fonterra’s false alarm shows danger of ‘crying wolf’

Victoria and Otago Marketing academics provide expert comment on the Fonterra crisis:


Although it is good news that Fonterra received the ‘all clear’ from the Ministry for Primary Industries yesterday, a lot more needs to be done to restore New Zealand’s reputation, say academics from Victoria University of Wellington and the University of Otago.

Dr Hongzhi Gao, Senior Lecturer in Marketing at Victoria Business School and Senior Research Fellow of the New Zealand Contemporary China Research Centre, says the New Zealand government and business communities still have a big job ahead to ensure the official findings filter through to the global market.

“Negativity was so widely spread overseas that a proper public relations campaign needs to be planned and implemented in key dairy export markets, including China. If it is done well, the crisis may be turned into an opportunity for New Zealand’s brand,” says Dr Gao.

Associate Professor Dr John Knight, Department of Marketing, University of Otago, says Fonterra is to be congratulated for carrying out a precautionary recall.

“However, Fonterra needs to ask itself, how did this fiasco evolve in the way it did? With the benefit of hindsight, what could have been done differently?

“If such an event occurs in future—and obviously we hope it doesn’t— Fonterra needs to avoid causing unnecessary hysteria by only releasing accurate and verifiable information. For instance, the mention of a ‘dirty pipe’ conjured up visions of unsanitary conditions and poor manufacturing standards—visions which could do lasting damage to New Zealand’s reputation for having control standards as high as anywhere in the world.”

Dr Knight suggests that at the first hint anything was wrong in March this year, an initial cautionary recall should have been carried out, notifying all channel members that products based on the contaminated whey ingredient were to be embargoed while further tests were conducted.

“There was no need to mention unproven fears concerning the nature of the organism—they could have just mentioned that there was suspected contamination by an organism that had the potential to cause illness. This should have been followed up by rapid, extensive testing to determine the exact nature of the contamination.

“Sounding a strident alarm based on wrong information—essentially ‘crying wolf’—has the potential to weaken response to a genuine crisis some time in the future.”

Dr Gao and Dr Knight have teamed up to study international crises, including the 2008 Chinese milk contamination crisis where Fonterra lost its investment of over 100 million dollars in a joint venture with Sanlu.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Yesterday’s Big Parliamentary Air Kiss To China

In order to obtain support from the two major parties, Act Party deputy leader Brooke Van Velden twice had to soften the language of her parliamentary motion yesterday condemning China’s persecution of the Uighurs. The key word “genocide” was deleted. Evidently, the kind of resolution passed by a conservative government in the UK proved to be far too tough for a centre-left Labour government and a centre-right National opposition to countenance. Yesterday, the two major parties were united in their fear of retribution from China... More>>

 

Government: Fair Pay Agreements To Improve Pay And Conditions For Essential Workers

The Government is delivering on its pre-election commitment to implement Fair Pay Agreements which will improve wages and conditions, as well as help support our economic recovery, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood announced today. More>>

ALSO:

Public Services: Government Sets Pay And Workforce Expectations For The Public Sector

The Government’s Workforce Policy Statement issued today sets out its expectations for pay and employment relations in the Public Sector, the Minister of Finance and Minister for the Public Service say. “New Zealand has had an exceptionally successful ... More>>

ALSO:

Government: Budget 2021 Reprioritises Nearly $1 Billion

Hon Grant Robertson Deputy Prime Minister Minister of Finance The Government’s strong pandemic response and the better than expected economic recovery means not all the money allocated in the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund has been spent, ... More>>

ALSO:


PM: Statement On The Speaker And Annual Review Debate

“The serious issue of alleged sexual assault and harassment at Parliament was poorly managed and inappropriately politicised last night. The tone of the debate did not reflect well on Parliament as a whole,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. ... More>>

Parliament: Mallard Fails To Give Taxpayers A Straight Answer

Trevor Mallard has confirmed he is unfit to be Parliament’s Speaker by failing to answer several important questions relating to the false rape accusation saga that cost taxpayers more than $330,000, Shadow Leader of the House Chris Bishop says. ... More>>

Local Government: Independent Review To Explore Future

Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta says an independent review of local government will explore how councils can maintain and improve the wellbeing of New Zealanders in the communities they serve long into the future. More>>

ALSO:

PM Ardern And PM Morrison: Commencement Of Two-Way Quarantine-Free Travel Between Australia And New Zealand

Joint Statement by Prime Ministers Scott Morrison and Jacinda Ardern Commencement of two-way quarantine-free travel between Australia and New Zealand Today, Australia and New Zealand have fulfilled their commitment to establish two-way quarantine free ... More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels