Case Overview

A recent food poisoning incident related to contaminated canned peaches from Japan has caused the death of 13 people in the US, and 87 more people have been hospitalized. US senators, congressmen, public interest groups, labor unions, and editorials have called for increased scrutiny of imported food products. The US FDA has instituted a 30-day ban on the import of canned fruit from Japan which will give the US government time to analyze the situation in greater detail. The ban will be effective immediately. Any of the banned products that arrive in US seaports in the next seven days will be admitted but will be held in bonded warehouses and will not be processed by US Customs until after the ban is over. The importer of those products will need to pay for those storage fees in advance. The US Customs Service will not permit the unloading of any Japanese canned fruit that arrive at a US port-of-entry after the seven-day grace period. The Japanese government has issued a statement stating that Japanese food products are safe and that they are investigating the contamination incident to determine what happened and who is at fault.

You are the Vice President of Fam-Mart, a national supermarket chain in America that specializes in the sale of canned food from Asia. The CEO relies on you to handle all marketing and operations management, while he deals with investors.

Two people have died from eating Japanese canned peaches purchased at your store, and 23 people have been hospitalized with an undisclosed form of food poisoning linked directly to cans sold from your store.

Last month your company ordered $270,000 worth of canned fruit from a Japanese supplier, and it is currently on a ship that will arrive in the Port of Los Angeles in eight days. You have paid a 40% deposit on the shipped products, and will pay the remainder when the imported product is released by customs.

Your CEO wants you to handle your company’s response to this issue, as well as a long-term strategy to mitigate future contaminations. Note that 12% of your products come from Japan, but they provide 19% of your profits.

Task for all students.
• Carefully read the situation facing your organization.
• Write a one-page (single-spaced) memo that outlines your actions for dealing with the situation.
• The memo should include:
1. Analysis of the risks (e.g. government intervention that restricts your firm’s ability to conduct its business) facing your organization. Rate risks as low, medium, or high, and explain your reasons.
2. Operational actions your company will take to mitigate the highest risks.
3. An integrated marketing communications (IMC) plan that will also combat the threats facing your company.

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International Marketing - Case Study 2 – Fam Mart

The effect of the problem with contaminated canned fruits will affect negatively the cash flow of our company due to the fact that 19% of our profits is generated from the 12% products being imported from Japan. As communication is one very important aspect to control in this situation, we have come up with strategies to effectively limit the scope of the contaminated canned fruits problem....
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