Sapputo Did The Right Thing

By Mike Archer. Canadian milk industry leader Saputo, whose BC headquarters are in Burnaby, made the right decision when it announced Monday it will no longer purchase milk from Chilliwack Cattle Sales, the Chilliwack farm where charges of animal cruelty were recommended by the BC SPCA.

Photo: Saputo CEO Lino Saputo Jr

The difficulties faced by  the Kooyman family of Chilliwack over the horrendous activities which took place on their farm will be a black mark on the dairy industry for years to come.

The swift decision of Saputo, one of Chilliwack Cattle Sales’ major customers, may hasten the demise of Canada’s largest factory dairy farm and though the decision may have been harsh and difficult to make, Saputo deserves credit for understanding that, when statements are made about zero-tolerance, and other commitments some businesses find it easy to make, there are still moments when principled decisions must be made.

Saputo has set an example for others, not only in the dairy industry or the milk products business but for business as a whole. It is easy to make motherhood statements and add them to your corporate literature.

The tough part is living up to those commitments when the rubber hits the road.

Whatever happens to Chilliwack Cattle Sales, Saputo has proven itself worthy of the respect with which it is held in the Canadian business community.

Change only occurs when good people stand up and show leadership.

As a signatory to the BC Safety Charter, Saputo has shown its leadership in the BC business community. The leadership role it has taken in this dairy industry crisis accentuates the seriousness with which Saputo takes it’s role as a good corporate citizen.

“I think we need to send a message to the industry, and all stakeholders in the industry, that there needs to be reform.” – Saputo CEO and board vice-chairman Lino Saputo Jr.

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