Five things companies should do in their relationships with regulators

By David Gremmels and Cary Bryant

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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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.


 

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The views of third parties set out in this publication are not necessarily the views of the global EY organization or its member firms. Moreover, they should be seen in the context of the time they were made.