The news that I see on the television and internet, and the news that I hear about as a part of my job, have never been more divergent. When I’m at work, and I get to talk with or exchange emails with small processors that have seen exceptional growth this year. They’ve managed to adjust to the realities of a post-Coronavirus world and have made the necessary changes to their operations and business models.
Then I look at Twitter or read the latest headlines elsewhere, and I hear a completely different story about the meat processing industry. Massive COVID outbreaks. Worker deaths. Consumer anger. It’s a really different world. That anger may lead to some serious blowback against the meat industry as a whole. The question that needs to be asked is, are people upset at the meat industry in general, or are they upset at the handful of companies that keep ending up in the headlines?
People forget that the typical meat processor in America is not a multi-billion dollar corporation with dozens of plants and tens of thousands of employees across the country. The local meat market or regional processor closer represents the “typical” processor, and their story is being underreported. I’ve developed a “Tales from the Front Lines” series here on Provisioneronline.com, where I profile some of these companies and the ways that they have adapted to the realities of the coronavirus pandemic. It’s our way of making sure that all of the voices in the industry are being heard. We’ll be doing much more of that in the August edition of Independent Processor (now appearing as a digital-only magazine, along with The National Provisioner). If you would like to get your voice heard and tell the story of your company, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll talk.
In the meantime, use all the tools at your disposal to make sure that your customers and your community know your story. Talk with local newspapers, utilize your social media channels and communicate with your customers. Do it until you’re sick of marketing yourself, and then do it a little more. Unfortunately, the actions of other companies may affect your business adversely unless you take the necessary steps to get your voice heard.