Billions lost serve as stern reminder to be prepared for crises
China’s most recent bird flu outbreak is a prime example of just how costly food-related crises can be. Although the country appears to have brought the virus under control via strict crisis management protocols — including the closure of markets where it was detected, the destruction of all birds at said markets and standardization of transport methods — the losses incurred since this new bird flu strain emerged in March are enormous.
One Reuters article quoted a U.N. expert, who shared the staggering loss total estimated by China’s agriculture ministry:
“Over $6.5 billion has been lost in the agriculture sector because of prices, consumer confidence and trade. So poultry industry losses in China have been high”
As most who have done business internationally know, these types of estimates are often conservative when coming out of the Asian market. Just considering the fact that $6.5 billion in losses could be an underestimate should be warning enough for anyone who works in the food industry, or any of the myriad businesses associated with it.
In fact, just about any industry has the potential to encounter crises of this scale. The only way to reduce the impact is by taking preventative crisis management measures, and being prepared to leap into action when the time comes.
The BCM Blogging Team