Recently Fair Oaks Farm – a major dairy and pork agritourism operation in Indiana – was targeted by animal activists. Hannah Thompson-Weeman of the Animal Agriculture Alliance wrote an outstanding blog post for Meatingplace.com on Fair Oaks Farm’s response, which was exactly right at the exact right time.
Hannah wrote: “I’d like to commend Fair Oaks on its bold, transparent approach. The company quickly issued a public statement via social media to inform customers and others about the situation and has continued to respond to comments and publish additional content related to the matter, including video commentary from the owners. While the statement has attracted some of the usual comments from activists, it has also drawn out responses from strong supporters of the farm.”
Hannah went on to write that because Fair Oaks took such a quick, proactive approach to the situation, they were able to essentially “own” their own narrative. And interestingly enough, the animal activist group has not even released the video yet – likely because they are rethinking their strategies, according to Hannah.
All of this speaks to the importance of building up a “trust bank” when it comes to customers and consumers.
According to Hannah: “Fair Oaks has made countless deposits to its trust bank over the years through each positive customer interaction, and now the brand is able to draw against that goodwill and be trusted to handle this situation appropriately.”
This is exactly what Minnesota Turkey does each and every day as we create written and video content about growers and their farms, and we post to our social media platforms and our website. We want consumers to get to know the farmers and turkey companies; we want to show them all the ways Minnesotas turkey farmers strive to do what’s right – with their birds, with their products, with their businesses, with their family farms.
Why is this important? We can look no further than the 2015 Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) outbreak or the recent salmonella recall on ground turkey last November to see it makes a difference. Consumers look to Minnesota Turkey as a trusted source of information and their comments to us on social media suggest they are strong supporters of what you do. And the relationships we have built with reporters over the years has been paramount to making sure our messages are heard.
We take all of this very seriously. We strive to be honest, transparent, and we want to earn that trust. We will continue to build turkey’s “trust bank”. And know that we will be ready to address our industry’s critics if we need to on behalf of our members.