Strategic communications on responsible meat production
Well-planned bilateral communication is an important tool in strategy implementation. Finnish food manufacturer HKScan is focused on responsible meat production and the use of high-quality raw ingredients. Valve helped deliver their corporate responsibility message to a variety of target groups.
As awareness of sustainable consumer choices is growing, the food industry, with the meat industry at the forefront, is confronted with a number of consumer concerns. These include the treatment and welfare of animals, the use of antibiotics in livestock production, the ethics of cultivating soybean for animal feed, and the methane emissions from cattle that accelerate climate change. For reasons like these, the ethics of meat consumption are under scrutiny, with meat being increasingly replaced by other sources of protein. For example, the Finnish Defence Forces have announced that they will be replacing the protein sources in some of their meals with vegetable-based alternatives.
Consequently, there has been a clear need in the market for sharing HKScan’s corporate responsibility expertise in an understandable and user-friendly manner. HKScan’s strategy identifies key themes addressing a broad spectrum of corporate social responsibility issues from animal welfare to packaging and farm environmental issues, and the company is committed to communicating strategic content central to its competitiveness and reputation management.
HKScan possessed a great deal of research information and reports on the above topics. The challenge was to transform them into an easy-to-communicate format serving the needs of different stakeholders.
Valve devised a comprehensive concept for easy-to-access, credible communication of responsibility content. The concept comprised written and visual content in different formats and a distribution plan for different usage situations. The main products were information packs on each theme and the accompanying presentation materials, which today form the basic tools of HKScan’s responsibility communication.
Language versions of the material were made available for all HKScan’s home markets and made easy to update so that they can be adapted to different markets as needed and updated, for example, with changed research data. In external communications, key communication situations were identified. In internal communication, training and implementation of material for key personnel was identified as the main need.
The devised presentation materials are now being actively used in a variety of communication, sales and training situations, and customer feedback has been positive. At present, they form the fundamental tools of HKScan’s responsibility communication. In order to increase transparency and awareness, HKScan also compiled information sheets on various aspects of corporate responsibility on its website.