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.
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The real loser from the current horse meat scandal is consumer faith in the integrity of brands– all brands.
Clayslaps Road, Glasgow.