March News from Executive Director

Greetings Mango Industry,

The recent cantaloupe crisis demonstrates the need for every segment of the distribution chain, from producer to retailer, to be prepared for the worst. Although the cantaloupes brought the foodborne disease with them to the market, you never know how a crisis may unfold. As a result of what was reported in the news, there is no doubt there is a fraction of consumers that may now consider cantaloupes too risky to purchase. We don’t want anything like that to ever happen to the mango industry.

Every year, the NMB trains a team of industry members and staff to be prepared for a mango crisis and this year’s training will take place on March 27, 2012 during our board meeting in Brazil. Even though we cannot prevent a crisis, we can minimize its impact by being prepared. Since the media is a large part of making a situation a crisis, much of the preparation is focused on media training. If there ever is a mango crisis we want to be ready to address the issue with clarity. 

One of the toughest lessons I have learned in this training is knowing when and when not to speak to the media during a crisis. Instinctively we quickly want to tell our side of the story; however, trying to get ahead of a story is very different than reacting to a negative situation. Having the patience to strategically wait out a news cycle and having the wisdom to know when to react is one of the tactics we execute to effectively communicate to the media in a crisis. 

I hope we never have to make that choice.  

Genuinely,

William Watson

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