November 30, 2020

4.4 Crisis Planning

Every company involved in the food sector should have a written plan should circumstances arise where there is a problem in the company.  Unfortunate events will occur in the life of most organizations.   We know that a crisis can have a high-damage impact.

Contingency planning is essential in the egg sector:

  • Preparing for predictable and quantifiable crises
  • Preparing for unexpected and unwelcome events

The aim is to minimise the impact of a foreseeable event and to plan for how the organisation will resume normal operations after the crisis.  To plan for such a crisis occurrence is very important.  It is advised that you..

  • Prepare a list of likely (and unlikely) crises which might affect your business
  • Rank the crises in order
  • Prepare a Crisis Plan which considers

Your Crisis management plan then needs to address

  • Responding to a sudden event that poses a significant threat to the firm
  • Limiting the damage
  • Selecting an individual and team to deal with the crisis
  • Resolving a crisis

Contingency plans

The contingency plan:

  • Identifies alternative courses of action that can be taken if circumstances change with time
  • Details standby procedures to enable the continuation of essential activities and services during the period of the emergency
  • Includes a plan for improving the business in the longer term once the immediate situation has been resolved

Steps in drawing up a contingency plan

  • Recognise the need for contingency planning
  • Identify possible contingencies – all the possible adverse and crisis scenarios
  • Specify the likely consequences
  • Assess of the degree of risk to each eventuality
  • Determine risk strategy to prevent a crisis & to deal with a crisis should one occur
  • Draft the plan and identify responsibilities
  • Simulate crises and the operate of each plan

There are two broad approaches to the managing of these events

(1) Try to keep them from reoccurring

(2)  mitigate or soften the impact of the crisis when it does occur.

  • Coping with bad publicity
  • Damage limitation
  • Handling bad news
  • Crisis management
  • Corrections

Steps to take ….

  • Designate one person only to speak about the crisis to the outside world.  This should be  a  senior spokesperson.  Also appoint a back up spokesperson
  • Crisis training & rehearsal
  • Know your media and brief them.  Issue news release, short and factual. Stick to facts and do not speculate, correct inaccuracies.
  • Act to prevent or counter the spread of negative information
  • Have background materials ready to give out – press pack, video clips.
  • Damage limitation
    • Inform superiors
    • Inform employees

Inform key local authorities and other stakeholders e.g. local  community, suppliers etc  from a pre-arranged listing

Consider advertising to thank people for help and sympathy, to correct/project right impression, to put a human face on the organisation.

The Dole Fruit company have shared their approach ..