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Friday, 25 April 2014

Diagramatic Representation of the Food Safety Cost Burden

As with any burden in life, the cost burden placed on consumers can reach a bearable maximum. No matter how insignificant any additional burden may appear to the person or entity placing the burden on consumers, anything beyond the bearable maximum tends to cause a quiet but significant consumer exodus.

The few consumers who complain may be placated and retained or won back. However, the many who do not complain but simply move on to the competitors or other products altogether are difficult to win back.

It is generally accepted that certain costs are inevitable "costs of doing business". The cost of implementing control systems as shown in the SSQA perspective diagram may be seen as an example of an inevitable cost that could help to reduce the other costs. The test then is to actually measure the degree to which that cost actually reduces the others. Where there is no quantifiable measure of success to justify that cost, it remains a burden and a useless one at that. 

A business that takes on any cost as the "cost of doing business" with the intention of simply passing the burden on to consumers may not be doing itself a favour. Care for the consumer or even concern for the continuing success of the business is not demonstrated with such an attitude. 

It is in fact irresponsible to simply accept and proceed with the assumption of costs without assessing the actual return on the investment. In some instances, the irresponsibility is accompanied by nebulous claims about success without real and quantifiable evidence of that success. Observed practices have also shown that the assessment of success by some organizations are based on the wrong or irrelevant criteria. This compounds the irresponsibility. 

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