For Agribusiness, Social Media Has Changed Everything Forever, Says Adrian Moss

Photo: iStock/Paolo Cipriani

Managing the news cycle is not what it used to be, according to Adrian Moss, founder and Managing Director of Focus Business Communications. “We now have a very complex food chain from farm to fork that is only as good as its weakest link,” he noted.

Citizen journalism, Web 2.0, online reviews, comments and social communities have changed many industries forever. “The feed and livestock industry is no exception,” observed Mr. Moss. “Unexpected problems can emerge from anywhere along the food chain.”

Supply chains

He cited the 2013 horse meat incident and reports of melamine tainted raw milk as clear examples of a lax attitude toward sourcing and supply chain management that incurred significant consumer backlash. Defensive production and an awareness of today’s media environment may help the industry limit similar future episodes. “Caution, good management and keeping consumer safety at heart all play a role,” he explained, “but no one can accurately predict the next issue that will grab such traditional news and social media attention.”

Economic impacts

“Take the example of ‘pink slime’ where it’s impossible to point to one clear cause for the uproar. All of the sudden, over 200,000 people took to social media, parents were protesting outside of schools, lobbying efforts on retailers and bulk purchasers were ratcheted up and the traditional news networks took note—creating a perfect storm that saw a meat processing business worth US$2bn damaged badly with plant closures and staff layoffs,” recounted Mr. Moss.

Adrian MossMr. Moss will present “The Value and Risks of Online Communities in the Social Media Era: Minimising Brand and Financial Damage during a Crisis” at the BIOMIN World Nutrition Forum 2016 in Vancouver, Canada on 13 October. He will address what companies need to be doing to build strong relationships with online communities and adopt best practice in crisis management situations. He will also look at future trends and how firms will need to adapt their structures and ways of operating in order to survive.

@adrianmoss says social media changed everything for agribusiness forever. Share your thoughts using #WNFVancouver

‘Driving the Protein Economy’ will be the theme of the 7th edition of the biennial World Nutrition Forum, the premier animal nutrition event hosted by BIOMIN.