We have run many pieces regarding the Food Safety Leadership Council; you can read the most recent ones here, here, here and here. We previously explained that after the vituperative letters that went out here, here and here, quiet discussions are now going on both with individual vendors and the larger industry. Although Food Safety Leadership Council members agreed to discussions with broader industry interests, they had not agreed to delay enforcing their standards with vendors.
Now we are getting word that at least some of the companies that had sent out letters demanding suppliers to conform to the new Food Safety Leadership Council standards are giving a reprieve. One big shipper and processor put it this way:
“…we have been given a green light to continue supplying our products without meeting the FSLC’s metrics… on water and distances. At least for the 2008 year… they have been reasoning and negotiating with their suppliers…”
“Reasoning and negotiating” — that is good news and shouldn’t be such a novel concept. Whatever these discussions may mean regarding the future of food safety standards — surely we can all agree that it is neither necessary nor productive for buyers to issue dictates to long-term, loyal suppliers.
A little “reasoning and negotiating” — which may just be another term for a little “respect” — can lead to a productive sharing of information, which creates an environment conducive to better food safety systems and a generally more productive… and pleasant… industry.