Sunday, September 28, 2008

Where did the products go?

This year’s final quarter is almost here. Reason for me to look at my agenda’s and plans to see what still has to be done to reach my goals made at the beginning of the year. One of the items included on that list is to increase the number of products in the on-line store. It looks like I have some catching up to do to make my goal so I just will have to accelerate and keep cranking away. Anyway, while working on this I came across a letter published by an owner of a pet food company. The company is known for it’s high quality healthy pet nutrition, has received great reviews by independent media researchers and has had more than satisfying results when I was doing my own research, so it’s going to be part of our program.
Coming back to her letter I would like to share it with you, at least certain statements of it. Apparently the company must have offered in the past a number of popular supplement products, which now have been taken off their shelves and discontinued. I don’t know about these products. When I do my historical research I am looking for things like how long has the company been in existence, have they had any issues with recalls and what have been customer’s experiences with their products in the past. Researching discontinued products is certainly not part of my regular routine, there’s just not enough time and it’s a mute point anyway. What counts is what is currently being offered.
So the owner continues to explain why these great products have been discontinued and makes the statement that “simply put, the FDA has asked the company to discontinue the sale and promotion of these products because the company was making claims about their nutritional benefits.” And goes on: “A week doesn’t go by in which I receive a variety of pet product catalogs in the mail, which list page after page of supplements and their related benefits. The FDA has asked us not to make the same kind of claims. As an alternative I do have the option to submit these products for formal drug approval. I’m afraid, however, that it would be and enormous undertaking, both in expense and time, and that the process would more than likely, outlive me and yield nothing in the end. I have, therefore, decided to stop selling these products.
These are companion animal products made from food ingredients that have been used on pets for a lot longer than I have been around. Must I be a vet or have a Ph.D. after my name in order to substantiate what has been commonly known in the general pet community for decades? These supplements are not harmful to pets and your pet may indeed derive great benefits from them. I love to research new ingredients for our products and share that information with you. I thought that you may want to know how our food supplements might be beneficial.
I apologize that our this year’s catalog may not have much of the nutritional information that you have come to except from “our company” and hopefully it was appreciated in the past. We are still doing our homework, researching, and bringing to you the best ingredients available. Unfortunately we can no longer tell you about them. We encourage you to read about our ingredients from reputable online and print resources, as the kids like to say, “Google it!”. When it is all said and done, it is all about providing the very best for our furry children. I promise to continue to fight for the right to bring you nutrition information, but not at your or your pet’s expense!” end of quote.
Wow! Pretty strong I’d say. And it sounds someone got tired of dealing with the administrative overkill, red tape and formal burdens placed on a smaller business, which is just trying to do the right thing. A company owner having more on his mind than endless greed for profits. An owner who does care about his customers and their pets. Simply resigning and running in somewhat lower gear, yet still continuing to do the right thing. Following his believes and ideas. A dying breed? An “endangered species” because he is totally unlike the giants among his competitors, who apparently care less about how many recalls they have had in the past and how many pets are suffering as a result of being fed their products?Regardless of whether this company owner decides to continue or discontinue some of his products, I looked at their products still remaining available. I have made up my mind, these products will be sold in our store. Because they are good for pets. Because they fit our company’s philosophy. That I can understand the owner’s frustration and sympathize with him just makes it better. I like my business partners being caring and at the end of the day just being human. And I am convinced my customers feel the same way. I have more to say about this particular topic. But I am tired myself right now, physically. So stay tuned for a continuation to come.

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