Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Blue Buffalo - You Are Doing It Wrong

Some companies get recalls right, some don't. When products can possibly harm you or your companion animals, it's important the companies who do it wrong get called on it and hopefully change their policy.

Blue Buffalo issued a recall on some of their dog foods over concern with excess Vitamin D. Not a significant health risk, except for a small percentage of the canine population, but definitely an error in production that needs rectifying (you can't sell a product with "x" amount of ingredient listed but with an actual amount of "y").

Pet Food Express pulled the products and then, per their policy, contacted Blue Buffalo and requested they provide pertinent testing data that ensures their product is safe according to both Blue Buffalo and Pet Food Express standards.

Pet Food Express is unique amongst pet supply stores. They don't sell animals, which is amazing. Too many small animals and fish die en route, are mistreated in pet stores, and are sold without much regard to their welfare or the experience level of the purchasers. You can read why they don't sell animals here.

Now, if you are a business that relies on retailers to sell product, one would think you would go that extra step to ensure your clients (i.e. Pet Food Express) are happy. When Pet Food Express asked Blue Buffalo to provide that important safety data, Blue Buffalo claimed the information was proprietary and private. In all fairness, it might be true, but I am certain Blue Buffalo could find a way to provide the data without revealing any trade secrets. Every other manufacturer that sells to Pet Food Express and has had recalls has willingly provided similar information, so it can be done without the pet food world going to hell in a handbasket.

I can get past the private and proprietary, because there are ways to work around that. What I cannot get past is what the service representative said afterwards, " “If the information I have already provided does not meet your requirements, I suggest you pull the products permanently from your stores.”

Way to shoot yourself in the foot. Pet Food Express kindly asked and Blue Buffalo has received - Pet Food Express will no longer be selling Blue Buffalo until information requested is provided.

Pet Food Express - Doing It Right.
Blue Buffalo - Doing It Wrong. They can make it right, though, by simply providing answers to reasonable questions. Do it, Blue Buffalo, business is business, right?

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