Bucked off…


With all this horsey business, as a consumer, it is easy to get carried away with blaming the food retailers for supplying customers with products containing horsemeat.

But think about where the supplier gets their products from; findus who supply ready meals for tesco or sainsburys etc. are being supplied their food from another supplier – comigel.


This is all one big, vicious circle

The head of French food producer Comigel said on Sunday that ‘the company had been fooled by suppliers providing horsemeat as beef and vowed to seek compensation.’ Is this the only way they are going about resolving the issue?

Imagine being part of comigel’s communications team and the conflict they have between their suppliers as well as findus and so on, how do they deal with conflict? How do they approach it? When do they take action? Who do they communicate with?


Dealing with conflict in an organisation is one battle but dealing with Inter-organisational conflict is an even bigger battle. ‘Inter-orgasnisational conflict can occur between organisations and suppliers of raw materials,’ meaning an organisation is in conflict with an outside agency or organisation who supplies them with their goods, which ultimatley can result in decline or rise of business and sales.

An appropriate approach to take with this kind of conflict would be collaboration. Wiley (2003)

There are various ways to resolve conflict such as avoidance, smoothing the situation out or compromising. However in this instance collaboration may potentially resolve conflict. If both supplier and food retailer collaborate and show assertiveness they will solve the issue as they work together, through their differences to satisfy the concerns of their customers.

By showing assertiveness and collaborating everyone gains a result; they both withhold their reputation by showing initiative and customers and retailers will be satisfied with their changes. If comigel and their supplier both find a way to produce products with real meat or local produce, that is low cost, they can both find a common goal and gain the best results; win-win conflict!

4 thoughts on “Bucked off…

  1. Interesting post on the win-win conflict resolution process. conflicts in the business sector can be more delicate to handle due to diverse interests on the table-from the regulators, shareholders, consumers and even the competitors. ultimately, the best approach is to understand the cultural contexts of these players and communicate to them in a manner that assures them of a win-win situation….

  2. Thank you for your comment.

    It was hard to explore how the food industry can use conflict resolution to overcome this issue and I thought collaboration was the best way forward and hopefully would result in a win-win situation. And I do agree it would be delicate to handle as there are so many stakeholders involved with high interest, it complicates things.

  3. From a PR perspective this is a great technique to ensure reputations are maintained. But this is probably one of the hardest and expensive techniques. It also may be very risky for those who collaborate with Findus as they may be scrutinised and fall under threat.
    A lot of thought has gone into this and it would be great with a large budget!

    • Thank you for your comment Lorna.

      You make a great point, it may be an expensive way but this is just one perspective. There could be other ways Findus could have overcome their conflict which could have simply involved actively listening to their customer with a public reputation change and turnaround showing they had listened.

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