Remember transparency is essential to keep customers

By Robb Hicken/ BBB’s chief storyteller

Pink slime aside, the meat processing industry is in the middle of another controversy.

Meat glue, a powder officially known as transglutaminase, was originally produced using a natural enzyme in animal blood. Now, a fermentation of bacteria creates the adhesive, and when added to meat, it creates a nearly undetectable bond to any other meat that is joined, according to the Food and Drug Administration. FDA lists it as “generally recognized safe” for consumption.

Pink slime and meat glue are good examples of what transparency means in a business. Telling people what’s in the meat.

“If they are using meat glue, then, there needs to be a disclosure that it is a formed or meat-shaped product,” says Ryan Holden, attorney with McAnaney & Associates.

Transparency applies to any business that’s out there, he says.

Holden says there should be disclosure, transparency, in all aspects of businesses

“If you have a business owner who is entering into a transaction, that could be or is a conflict of interest – an activity that is considered self dealing where there is a benefit that benefits the owner or passes directly to the family or friends, it should be avoided,” he says.

Not only necessary in the financial dealings, management must be open with all dealings. Keeping a business – small, medium or large – is a constant effort in communication. BBB believes transparency and communication begins with management.

Here are points to consider as you increase your business transparency:

  • Leadership/owners have to be in sync. Owners who do not have the same goal or vision will often spend their time reacting to external problems, financial impacts and employee demands.
  • Open communication with managers. If the owners are aligned, the next step is to make certain mid-level are informed. They tend to work on day-to-day strife, but need to be aware of the business goals and issues.
  • Teach financial impact decision-making. Managers want to do their best, but are not given adequate information. Provide financial information – costs, savings, budgets, etc. – that help them make positive decisions.
  • Tell the workers about vital issues. Don’t assume that being transparent with the mid-level manager is flowing to the workers who carry out the processes. Remember, being transparent means implementing methods that allow the free-flow of information from top to bottom. Give all employees responses to all FAQs.
  • Tough questions need answers. If the communication lines have been open, when the tough questions about finance come up, the entire business will be understanding and responsive. Owners, managers, and mid-level managers should all be ready to answer the ‘tough’ question.

“Any industry or professional has an obligation to make sure that I’m communicating regularly, and in a candid way, with my clients,” Holden says.

Just as the food industry is required to label and show the contents of a product, consider putting a label on your business that declares what’s inside.


1 Comment

Filed under News You Can Trust

One response to “Remember transparency is essential to keep customers

  1. Mark Burrows

    Is there really an issue here? Meat glue as you call it has been around for decades and has been identified on packages as meat by-products. One of my earliest jobs as a teenager was working in a meat plant and what we put into hot dogs was enough to make most people swear off of them for life. Didn’t bother me, because of my Scottish ancestry and familiarity with Haggis. Think about this. The human body for the most part can digest, use and waste anything that is animal or plant. What the human body has trouble with is synthetically manufactured chemicals that are made in a laboratory. Another thing, that gets misunderstood is the word bacteria. There is good bacteria and there is bad bacteria. Most of us love cheese which actually a bacterial mold.

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