Expectations • Everyone will be working together in their respective groups • Each group will have different issues to address and deal with • Overall the goal is for the group to work together through a crisis situation
You will be working together and role playing • Groups: • Producers • Commodity Associations and Organizations • Other participants: • Media • Regulators
Producer group 1: Tarheel Acres Growers • Conventional, organic, transition organic • Piedmont • Large packing facility • Pack for neighboring farms • Repack imports • Mainly wholesale, Carrboro Farmers’ Market • Peppers, fresh round tomatoes, strawberries, melons
Producer group 2: Plott Hound Creek Farms • Small-ish farmer • Conventional production mainly • Newton Grove • Direct market foodservice, wholesale and direct-to-store • Fresh round tomatoes, peppers, strawberries, sweet corn
Producer group 3: Rising Sun Farms • Conventional • Medium size farm • Goldsboro • Mainly wholesale, Raleigh Farmers’ Market • Tomatoes, peppers, and melons • Chicken houses adjacent to field
Commodity Associations and Organizations • Tomato Growers Association • NC Vegetable Growers Association • Tomato Council • United Fresh Produce Association
Media -- Our journalistic team • News and Observer • Charlotte Observer • CNN • Perez Hilton • Late night television • WRAL • Twitter • Yahoo News
August 15, 2011 -- Press release • NC Department of Health says “There are an increased number of illnesses which are linked together with a genetic fingerprint” • Salmonella Poona • 24 illnesses in NC • CDC has been dispatched
AUGUST 17, 2011 -- MORE INFORMATION TRICKLES OUT • Not just NC • Buncombe Co Health Department says “appears that they are linked to fast food” • TN Department of Health says “may be associated with Mexican restaurants” • TN, SC, GA -- all genetic matches • National conference call
August 19, 2011 Salmonella -- TN Health department its tomatoes • What do you do? • Who do you call? • What kind of things do you do to assess your system? • What do you release to the media?
August 20, 2011 -- Press conference • Announced that it is tomato-linked • Mike Taylor, FDA food safety czar • "It is always an upset to the industry when we have to put consumer advice out like this, but . . . we don't know which tomatoes are causing the illnesses; and we don't want to wait until we find out and then learn that people were getting sick.”
What else happens? • Media attention • Blogs, Twitter, Youtube • Increased testing of tomatoes • Buyer questions??? • Local demand? • Tomato sales decrease
Damage Control • Plott Hound Creek Farms • Increase in traffic on farm • Consumers talking about how the outbreak scares them from purchasing at large stores • Tarheel Acres Growers • Contact neighboring farms to confirm they are using GAPs • Increase in demand for tomatoes at Farmer’s market • Lots of discussion from customers
Industry investigations -- Looking for the source • Discuss your distribution chain • How do you prove it is not your farm? • Documentation? • Where has your product gone? • Traceability?
Class I Recall • Class I is a situation in which there is a reasonable probability that the use of, or exposure to, a violative product will cause serious adverse health consequences or death 19
August 23, 2011 -- Recall • How do you get the product back? • Where did it go? • What documentation do you need? • Other groups roles in this?
NCDA and FDA, conducting the investigation, asks for: • Flow charts • Lab reports • HACCP/SSOP records • Production records • Distribution records
On-farm investigation • Where they might start looking on-farm • Water • Worker health and hygiene • Wildlife
AUGUST 25, 2011 -- MORE INFO ABOUT THE IMPLICATED SITE ARISES… • Importing/repacking • Custom packing for themselves and others • Implicated product went to other dealers
FALL 2011 -- Recovery • Outbreak is over • What’s next? • Who is affected? • What needs to be done to get things back on track?
SO WHAT DOES THIS ALL MEAN? • Be prepared for outbreaks • Have a plan to manage them • Be available • Monitor what people are saying about industry/products • Use non-print methods • Take control of the story