THE horse meat lesson is less about food safety or adulteration and much more about lack of respect for the consumer and a lack of respect for the long-term values and obligations of branding ("Action call by Scottish farmers as meat crisis deepens", The Herald, February 9 and Letters, February 9 & 11) .
In the past, many food brands developed over time from mum-and-dad businesses where their integrity and dedication became the values vested in a brand.
Now, those brands are just as likely to be the currency of the big banks or private equity houses, where the bottom line takes primacy over brand values; where the business itself is always for sale; where more money is made on the financial markets than is ever made in selling the product itself; where production is outsourced to lowest-cost producers; where owners seldom "walk the floor" of the factory because they do not even own the factory; and where the consumer is seldom front of mind.
The real loser from the current horse meat scandal is consumer faith in the integrity of brands– all brands.
Clayslaps Road, Glasgow.
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