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When culture fails, when we start to care more about profits than we do about serving our customers, that is when trust disappears
Following the food scandal in 2013, the Government commissioned Professor Chris Elliott to “conduct a review into the integrity and assurance of food supply networks, and to make recommendations.” Professor Elliott’s report has now been issued and, even for those who don’t operate in the food supply chain, it makes interesting reading.
Professor Elliott has made eight recommendations, all of which have been accepted by the Government. The recommendations are naturally focussed on food safety and traceability but many of them are also relevant to any field of business. These include:
In his introduction Professor Elliott acknowledges that some of the recommendations “will require a culture change” and it will take time before all of the changes required “to regain and enhance public trust” have been implemented. By co-incidence his words have been echoed this week by Treasury Committee Chairman, Andrew Tyrie, who this week told the BBC that regaining public trust and confidence in the banks is still years away.
This challenge of regaining trust is something which is not confined to food or to banking. When culture fails, when we start to care more about profits than we do about serving our customers, that is when trust disappears. It can only take a minute to lose it but once it has gone it will take some very hard work to turn perceptions around. Businesses which work on an ongoing basis to truly serve their customers may not always get the instant ‘big buck’ wins but in the long term through growing customer loyalty and reputation they will be the winners.