Managing Heightened Government Control on Juice Control

The role of public food policy can be exemplified by the events in the Odwalla crisis. The involvement of government agencies in investigating the claims of infectious nature of the company’s apple juice products (Martinelli & Briggs, 1998) exemplifies the monitoring onus placed on regulatory institutions. To ensure safety of the products that are available in the market is sustained, the public policy must thus provide a framework for continuous evaluation of products in the market. Such would enhance discovery of harmful products at a stage when their adverse effects on the population are minimal. Extensive investigations launched by the FDA into Odwalla’s products were however well informed since they contributed to the entities acceptance to employ sterilization processes that ensured safety of its products in future (Martinelli & Briggs, 1998).

Effective monitoring of its processes for compliance with safety and health guidelines would be one approach that Odwalla could use to effectively manage heightened government surveillance. Through compliance with these guidelines the firm’s reputation would be safeguarded thus helping it to re-establish lost customer loyalty. Increased government surveillance in the food industry would also benefit the company by weeding out products that do not meet these standards, which would have otherwise curtailed the company’s sales by offering cheap prices at the market. By periodically monitoring its processes for compliance the company would also identify any flaws early enough and correct such before intervention from government agencies that could worsen its corporate image.

Conclusion

Public relations practices employed by a company during a crisis could be the main determinant of its survival. To acquaint with the approaches that firms employ to manage crises, this paper evaluated how Odwalla dealt with the 1996 E. coli contamination crisis of its unpasteurized apple juices. The strengths in the crisis management approach were first noted in respect to establishing effective communication channels. The toll free lines and the website dedicated to the crisis information offered an alternative source of information to media speculation for various stakeholders. Secondly, the company’s timely responses to the unfolding developments of the crisis also helped mitigate negative perceptions of its conduct. Such were climaxed by the company’s acceptance to use sterilization techniques to guarantee safety of its products after the finding of virulent strains in some of its products

Effective crisis management approaches are further noted to ensure a company’s favorable performance after the crisis. In the case of Odwalla, the quandary is for instance, noted in how to structure its market re-entry after recalling some of its products and managing increased government surveillance. The use of ‘flash pasteurization’ was noted to have been well informed based on costs whereas periodically monitoring of compliance with regulatory guidelines in its production plants has been advanced to be a way that the company can effectively manage increased government control of the food industry.

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