A number of food safety incidents in Canada’s meat processing industry in the last decade have underscored the importance of a crisis communication strategy and its impact on an industry or firm’s recovery. At its October 2015 meeting, the ANAC board of directors approved a crisis communication plan to be used in the event of an emerging issue in the feed industry that has the potential to significantly challenge the public’s confidence in the safety of the food chain, their own health and safety, or the reputation of ANAC or the feed industry.
The goal of this plan is to ensure the level of readiness necessary for responding to an emerging crisis or controversial issues in a unified and timely way and in a manner that protects the reputation of Canada’s animal feed industry. It also positions ANAC as the authoritative voice of the industry.
Details of the plan include first steps following emergence of a crisis and formation of an ANAC crisis communication committee. Assessment of the situation and development of messaging (including involvement of key stakeholders and questions to be answered), designation of spokespeople, and communication with stakeholders and the public/media are addressed. Whether the situation is best handled by ANAC, by an individual company, or by another organization will also be part of the assessment.
All ANAC members are encouraged to review the plan and ensure that those responsible for implementing any actions necessary are familiar with its contents.