Five things companies should do in their relationships with regulators
By David Gremmels and Cary Bryant
As the first export producers of raw milk cheese from the United States to Europe, we cheesemakers at Rogue Creamery operate under a microscope and are regularly scrutinized by local, regional and national regulators, like the Oregon Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration. Whether you’re in a highly regulated industry like we are, or not, businesses should operate under the following five guidelines when working with regulators. Making the highest quality blue cheese isn’t an operation easily overlooked.
- Build a relationship with your regulators.
Understanding the expectations and requirement of your local, regional and national regulators is crucial before starting a business. Have conversations with them to understand what is required of you. This will be the start of a lifetime relationship.
- Read the building code.
Staying current on your regulators’ processes and current regulatory challenges related to your facilities is key while planning and building your headquarters. Once you are established, ask for assistance in process, packaging and facility improvements.
- Share successes with regulators and recognize their contribution.
This may be the most important condition to keep in mind. Regulators like to be kept in the loop on your businesses success, and especially like it when you acknowledge their help in your success.
- Attend sessions for public comment and review on codes and practices.
Volunteer to give public addresses on regulations under review. Attend annual regulatory department public events to further relationships and to network with regulators.
- Be completely transparent.
Show strengths and weaknesses openly with regulators. Hide nothing.
Taking the time to position yourself and business as a key stakeholder for the industry you participate in will put you in good light with your regulators. Their success is determined by you and your industry's success.
About David Gremmels
David Gremmels is co-owner and President of Rogue Creamery where he is dedicated to sustainability and producing classic signature blue cheeses and American originals like TouVelle in the finest tradition of artisanal cheesemaking. He has degrees in business and marketing and is the visionary behind Rogue Creamery’s brand and sustainable business practices. Rogue Creamery uses the highest quality milk from exclusive herds and other hand-selected ingredients. David has served as both Chairman and President of the American Cheese Society, President of the Oregon Cheese Guild and is currently North American Ambassadeur of the Guilde Internationale des Fromagers. He was recently appointed by Oregon Governor Kitzhaber to the Oregon Sustainability Board.
About Cary Bryant
Cary Bryant is co-owner, CEO and Cheesemaker of Rogue Creamery. With degrees in both microbiology and biochemistry, Cary guides the innovation of Rogue Creamery’s highly decorated cheese products.
Dedicated to sustainability, he has Rogue Creamery and its dairy facilities certified by Food Alliance. Cary is the Founding President and Board Member of the Raw Milk Cheesemaker’s Association. He is a Charter Board Member of the Oregon Cheese Guild and is a renowned judge at cheese competitions around the world. At the Internationale Guilde des Fromagers meeting in Raleigh, North Carolina, August 2012, he was advanced to Prud’homme (educator) the fifth highest of six levels in the prestigious guild.
About Rogue Creamery
Rogue Creamery made history when Rogue River Blue became the first American blue cheese ever to win World’s Best Blue at the World Cheese Awards in London in 2003. Since then, Rogue Creamery has continued to garner more accolades than any creamery in history. The certified sustainable whole milk Rogue uses to make the internationally-acclaimed, gourmet blue cheese draws from the beauty and flavors of Southern Oregon’s Rogue Valley and from dairies along the banks of the rugged and scenic Rogue River. Their artisan cheese is available in fine cheese shops from Central Point, OR, New York, NY, Paris, London, Tokyo, and Sydney, Australia.
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