Thursday, April 11, 2013
Agribusiness is self-regulating food purity to prevent government from coming down on it. Farmers and processors also know that any bacterial outbreak hits them hard on the bottom line. The combination provides a direct path to ensuring that vegetables and meats sent to consumers are untainted. One can be cynical about this and say it isn't so much smart PR as a choice between business or no business. It is more than that, however. Tainted and spoiled food has been a problem for as long as man has been eating, and with the rise of farmers to serve urbanites, the issue was chronic. Today, agribusinessmen are smarter. They understand that one outbreak of poisoning can shut them down for months, if not for good. They also have examples where that happened, even among farmers who had taken precautions. They know it is better that they guard their products themselves rather than have someone -- the government -- do it for them. It costs more but it pays in the long run. Other industries should imitate them.