Christophe Guillon: Horsegate shows transparency with consumers is key

Guillon, the Operations Director of Findus Southern Europe, spoke on 'Approach to crisis management: Protecting a global brand' at the Insuring Food Safety event at the Swiss Re Centre for Global Dialogue.

Read a text version of his interview here

"You might know what, I'm from the company where we've detected a food fraud a few years ago. It was called 'Horsegate'. The way we managed it was about transparency and communication - with authorities, with consumers, customers. What were the lessons? Difficult questions - let's say, first of all, fraud is part of human beings, unfortunately, it's all. No one can pretend to be protected 100 percent from that. It's like a continuous fight, a competition between defrauders and chasers.

What is key is, when you detect one, you need to be 100 percent fully transparent with your consumers - of course - and work together with customers and authorities who have a key role in detecting back and protecting them.

There is one thing which is clear; when you want to manage a crisis, first of all, don't count on media. They are here to make some business out of new news. Just buy them some space to communicate directly with consumers. Work hard with customers. This, I would say, works better, since that story. With authorities, we tried to collaborate as much as we can - we have a sort of fraud risk analysis mentality. This is quite new. This should influence regulations and resources to put back."