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Friday, 1 May 2015

The Live Fish Option

If all you do is to simply follow, 
you'll get no further than behind others.

Regarding food safety and quality management systems, some have said that simply going with the flow is wise. I did not have to dig at all to find a contradicting but wiser opinion: “Only dead fish go with the flow”: Origins of this wise quote.
Whether you credit the quote to Sarah Palin, Bobbie Louise Hawkins,   Thomas Whittemore, the Rev. Mr. Daly, of Powerscourt, or an earlier source, this quote holds true in a very practical sense in the food industry. Many companies, in pursuit of their food safety development, management and certification, are simply “going with the flow”. They feel compelled and fail to see that it is an artificial compulsion. Those selling certification programs do not tell them about other avenues that provide relief from the overbearing burden. The certificate purveyors actually create confusion with the frequent re-arrangement of the same requirements in the so-called new versions of schemes. This drives the artificially-compelled certificate seekers to keep coming back to them for help.
When people ought to learn the truth, it is uncivilized to leave them in the dark. It is worse than a crime for anyone to cleverly create more darkness or confusion in order to take advantage of the vulnerable.
I dare say your company is not among the dead fish or those playing dead and going with the flow. As a viable and reasonable operator, your food business is not simply going with the flow, or is it? Will you continue in your determination to be different if you have always shunned popular fads? Will you dare to be different if you have been going with the flow in the past? You may cause some uneasiness among those who have abandoned reason but you will be respected. I invite you to venture with SSQA and see the difference.

With its exasperating impositions, the direction of flow for the certificate-crazed food industry mob is obvious.  Among the most exasperating requirements is the idea that all operations must be certified to some particular schemes in order to be suppliers to others that are certified to the same schemes. The exasperation could be worth enduring if the certifications actually guaranteed anything.

The exasperation will only intensify with every knee-jerk imposition of certification schemes. You probably already know what I am talking about because you have seen or experienced it. So far, you are managing to keep up with the flow but for how long? Redirection and relief are possible but not from where the industry crowd is headed. Dare to take a turn in the SSQA direction and see the difference.

Posted By Felix Amiri

Felix Amiri is the current Food Sector Chair of GCSE-Food & Health Protection

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