Monday, March 16, 2015

CFO: From Misleading + Blackout, to Partial Disclosure

Chicken Farmers of Ontario ("CFO") surveyed more than 600 in Ontario about chicken, then went into almost total, complete blackout on the survey results, except for a mis-leading Media Backgrounder and Media Release on Dec. 3, 2014.  I congratulate CFO on disclosing some of the damaging survey results at their Annual General Meeting on March 12, 2015; 99 days late.  I now encourage CFO to release the entire survey report so as to provide full, open, transparent, and accountable governance of Ontario's chicken industry for the people of Ontario.

It is good that CFO, like all other businesses who might care what their stakeholders think, conduct a comprehensive, independent survey, done by a third party.

In the past, it appears that CFO designed their surveys so complaints and problems were ignored or hidden.  To illustrate that point, let's design a biased question that has no downside (as only the chicken gods have seen the survey, I don't really know what CFO did, but we can speculate):

Q1:   How do you feel about the fresh chicken sold in Ontario grocery stores?
  • Best chicken in the world
  • Excellent
  • Very Good
  • I'm satisfied
  • Not applicable or no comment
This improper question has 4 degrees of happiness, and a neutral catch-all, but nowhere can a dissatisfied consumer express their opinion.

With this biased question, I'd expect to hear, "93% of consumers are satisfied or better with the chicken sold in Ontario".  No matter how good or bad CFO really performs, they can spin the results to make CFO look fantastic.

If things get really ugly, and 90% of consumers are so pissed off at CFO and Ontario chicken, that they choose "Not applicable or no comment", then CFO could still say, "Of those who expressed an opinion, 93% are satisfied."  What that means is that 90% clicked next to the most negative choice available, and of the 10% that CFO hasn't pissed off yet, they were disbursed among the 4 remaining positive choices so that 93% of that 10% chose "Satisfied".  It sounds great until you do full disclosure.

It's all in how you word the question.  Mislead the public through creative wording of the question and misinterpretation of the survey results.

Is that what CFO has done?  Only full disclosure of the survey and its results will reveal the full truth.

Therefore, I call upon CFO to fully disclose the survey and all of the results.

After CFO received the survey results, they issued a Media Backgrounder on Dec. 3, 2014.  It was subsequently deleted from their website by CFO (too much information ?), but through the miracle of Google's web crawler and cache system, I was able to obtain a cached version of that document.  All 100% positive, smiles & chuckles, rainbows and butterflies.  Isn't that precious!  I have preserved a copy and stored it here.  CFO also issued a Media Release, which is archived here

On March 13, 2015 an explosive article about CFO's survey was published on Better Farming.  Due to the critical importance of this information, I have copied it for archival purposes, and stored it here

From this unprecedented partial release of survey data from CFO, we now learn that most people have no clue how Supply Management works, or if chicken is under Supply Management.  In spite of these facts CFO twists the survey data so as to claim that the vast majority of consumers support Supply Management.

Read the CFO press release, then the BF article.  It's hard to believe they're referring to the same survey.

There 'aughta be a law.

There is a law, truth in advertising, and no misleading of consumers.

Too bad CFO ignores it.

Does these embarrassing results justify CFO to bury the survey results, or twist their meaning?

I don't think so, but what do you think?

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