Good customer agreements limit the damage in case of a product incident
All of a sudden, the FASFC is at your door… and you are completely taken aback. What if your customer abroad did not inform you about a problem with your product? Does your customer contract include an escalation protocol when a problem occurs? It happened to one of our companies…
Foreign food safety authorities had your product analysed and found fungicide. Due to the exceeding amount, the foreign authorities take measures against your customer. They immediately announce it publicly via the RASFF. Your customer does not inform you because there were no agreements on reporting problems.
The FASFC was notified through the RASFF. Suddenly, the FASFC is at your door because it – and understandably so – wants to act fast. You are taken aback and overtaken by events. Your company is under great pressure. Could this have been avoided?
What can we learn from this incident?
Important information should be communicated 24/7
When a deviation has been detected on your product, you should know about it as soon as possible. You want this information to be communicated quickly to your company so you can think along and possibly start a risk assessment.
Therefore, you should include in your contract that you, as a supplier, should be informed immediately. Moreover, when you are aware of a situation that is about to go wrong in advance, you have the possibility to block the product, take it off the market, in other words, you can act to avoid more damage.
Re-evaluate your recall procedure documents
Everyone should be able to find the supplier and customer lists on your server. This way, retrieving and consulting these lists is only one click away.
Do not forget to include the 24/7 contact details. Make it a yearly habit to check whether the information is up-to-date.
How can we help you?
Test the agreements with your customer during a crisis exercise. Involve them during the exercise and test how quickly they can really provide information.
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