From David E. Gumpert on the Complete Patient blog:
Mark McAfee of Organic Pastures, and his wife, Blaine. Photo: The Complete Patient
“The Harvard Business School is always on the lookout for interesting business case studies to help teach its high-powered students about the latest trends in business management.
I’m going to nominate Organic Pastures Dairy Co. for consideration as an HBS case—as an extraordinary example of a company that has forged such a close bond with its customers that they have become a potent political weapon on behalf of the company. Whatever the food safety issues at Organic Pastures, the true nature of the agenda became clear when the California Department of Food and Agriculture rushed to lift the quarantine after OPDC’s owner, Mark McAfee, said, “Enough screwing around,” and had the clout to back up his demand. Without the clout, OPDC would still be waiting, and waiting, and waiting. It’s clearer than ever that politics comes before any considerations of safety in this struggle. Continue reading
From David E. Gumpert at the Complete Patient blog:
“Back in the fall of 2006, the California Department of Food and Agriculture shut down Organic Pastures Dairy Co. after the state identified six children it said were sickened by E.coli O157:H7. Inspectors invaded the dairy and carried out hundreds of manure and environmental tests. The dairy was only allowed to resume productionsome two weeks later, after its owner, Mark McAfee, called a press conference to protest that the CDFA was dragging its heels in lifting its quarantine–he threatened legal action and consumer protests.
Five years later, and the story has unfolded in amazingly similar fashion. The CDFA shuttered Organic Pastures four weeks ago, after California health authorities connected the dairy with five illnesses from E.coli O157:H7 scattered around the state. Extensive testing of manure samples and the OPDC facilities was carried out. Continue reading