usual” workings of the organization to ensure sustainability.
Consistent communication then concentrated on two key areas:
1. Making FSQ a personal focus on what it means to “me” and not an amorphous “business priority.” This is best exemplified by the “safety is a promise” campaign that Fonterra continues to build on while also integrating into regular business activities such as on-boarding, training, and communications. This campaign
encourages every employee—from the senior management team down—to make their
own personal safety-related commitments and promises. It is enhanced through
stories such as that of John, a forklift driver at the Kauri factory in Whangarei, and
supported through additional branding and collateral such as the promise walls at all
factory entrances, red-line promise statements in staff changing rooms, and regular
stories shared across the organization, all bringing the concept of personal responsibility into the everyday work environment of the workforce.
2. Growing the understanding of what being a food company means. Fonterra
has significantly changed the understanding about what it does. Rather than processing a “wall of milk” to different specifications, Fonterra recognizes that its products
are either ingredients in food or food items themselves and are eaten by people all
over the world. Simple engagements—sharing food, telling stories from customers and consumers, producing maps for each factory of where their food goes—all
contributed to this shift. In addition, Fonterra had the opportunity to create a step-change engagement from the start of the 2015 season (July 2015) using a “supply
chain experience” that now includes virtual reality, filming, and gamification to provide a variety of ways to communicate to and engage various audiences. Fonterra’s
employees can now speak with consumers who eat the food they make and hear why
they chose to buy food made by Fonterra and the impact that has in their lives.
Sustaining the Changes in Food Safety Culture
Three things have made the most difference in creating our sustainable food
1. Driving Leadership and Commitment
This was driven initially by the precautionary recall but has been sustained since
2013 through a deliberate approach of ensuring regular and ongoing reporting, cadence around engagement, and support as asked for from the Fonterra management
team to lead the way while modeling the behaviors it is seeking. This is supported
with strong governance for FSQ, including a range of technical stakeholders and
business leaders. It included spending time with the management team and senior
leaders to clarify Fonterra’s FSQ expectations and then leveraging these as the “true
north” or “guiding light” for all forthcoming FSQ decisions and behaviors. In addition, it tapped their keenness to engage on this topic on a global basis by participating as a member of the Consumer Goods Forum’s Global Food Safety Initiative
Technical Working Group on Food Safety Culture, workshops, and presentations
at conferences and industry-wide events, working alongside Fonterra’s vendors and
partners on their own food safety culture strategies as they see the benefits in learning from others and sharing their stories.
2. Understanding Its People
The transformation team understood that to change behavior, it had to engage
people in a way that would reach them
and not maintain one style of communication or approach. The challenge was
to identify the audiences, what mattered
to them, and how the team could reach
them. The team was also faced with an
audience that had been through a lot
of change. It needed to find a way to
resonate with them all, quickly and on a
The program was nicknamed “
Finding Steve”—and in finding Steve, the
business gained an excellent understanding of the attributes, behaviors,
and states of mind of key audiences
in building the food safety culture the
team was looking for (Figure 3).
“Finding Steve” leveraged the customer segmentation concept used in
marketing. It was based on gathering
data, holding focus groups, talking to
key stakeholders such as unions, and
getting an overall picture of the workforce the team needed to engage with.
The process began in 2014 with the
New Zealand manufacturing worker
(the original “Steve”) and will continue
as a key enabler to sustain the change.
Through this process, the team discovered a number of distinct people profiles across Fonterra’s global business.
These profiles formed the basis of the
decisions made as to the methods of
communication with various business
units, sites, and operating entities. This
allowed the transformation team to
cocreate and test initiatives with particular “Steve” groups, so that when they
deploy something, they know it will
resonate with the target audience, mini-
3. Leveraging Science, Creativity, and