Several years before the Salmonella fiasco in tomato/pepper, the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association began work on a Specialty Crop Grant to develop a crisis management plan for the entire Georgia fresh produce industry. As history has proven, it only takes one incident to shut down an entire industry. This Crisis Management Plan was developed to provide guidance during a crisis in an effort to bring it to a close with no harm to the producer, workers or our consumers.
With the assistance of Sahlman and Williams firm out of Tampa, FL, producers of all sizes were interviewed about everything from water issues to labor, food safety to pesticides in order to cover as many potential areas of crises that may occur. This grant culminated with a Crisis Preparedness Training in Vidalia, GA and Tifton, GA as well as the development of the crisis management tools below.
Please take a few minutes to read through this presentation to be prepared in the event of a crisis.
The Contact Card contains phone numbers for GFVGA staff, 24 hours a day. In the event of a crisis, it is crucial that there is ONE CONSISTENT MESSAGE from everyone. The Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association has been working with other Georgia produce and commodity-specific associations to develop the Crisis Management Team which consists of contacts for every association and commodity. While we do not want to over step boundaries, we have found GFVGA is one of the few organizations with full time staff that does not change annually. With permission from other Associations, we will be the first point of contact in the event of a crisis and involve any other Associations and agencies as needed.
The Crisis Management Media Guide is to help you if any media outlet contacts you for an interview. While you need to answer their questions in a timely manner, it is better to take a little extra time to get correct information than to give them information that may not be the most accurate.