Case Study: The Horse Meat Scandal

Two years ago, the infamous horse meat scandal in the UK presented a classic scenario of the damage that can come from risky third-party associations. Widely known international corporations, including Burger King and others, were forced to cut ties with a meat supplier after facing financial and reputational harm from the news that some of the supplier’s products were tainted with horse flesh.

The revelations of tainted meat resulted in international news headlines, waves of criticism from consumers and food products being pulled from shelves and freezers in response to the uproar.

For the food industry, the crisis demonstrates that due diligence is becoming ever more important as the global food supply chain expands and becomes more complex. This reality, however, extends to all areas of business – as unethical, illegal, or even simply sub-par practices by a third-party associated with your organization can have long-lasting damaging effects on your business.

Some lessons learned from the scandal:

  • Know who your suppliers are
  • Develop crisis management and disaster response plans
  • Secure multiple supply routes
  • Establish back-up production sites in different regions
  • Consider redundancy production strategies
  • Establish a third-party risk assessment plan

CRI Group can help you develop and put in a place an effective third-party risk assessment plan that keeps your organization protected, and minimizes your exposure to unseen or unknown trouble spots. As your business grows, so do opportunities – let CRI Group uncover the information you need to make sure those opportunities are positive and beneficial to your growth.