ResponsibleAg Sends Positive Message To Lawmakers, Communities
Kansas ag retailers have historically prided themselves at being compliant with existing safety rules. So, there was some natural resistance and questioning when ResponsibleAg originated just more than two years ago. Time has changed this, according to an article in the ResponsibleAg newsletter.
“Our members have adopted the entire process of ResponsibleAg to understand that it is a way the industry can send a message to regulators to let them know we’re safety conscious,” says Tom Tunnell, president and CEO of the Kansas Agribusiness Retailers Association (KARA). “Literally everyone accepts it as a way of doing business now and in the future.”
As an Agricultural Retailers Association board member when ResponsibleAg was formed, Tunnell experienced firsthand the challenges and concerns of the industry. He also experienced the benefit of putting the program in place.
“Because there are teeth in ResponsibleAg, it caused people to take notice,” Tunnell says. “It indicated that the entire industry was serious about making sure the public and government were aware that we’re doing our best to make certain a tragic event doesn’t happen again.
“It has helped us in Kansas and we’re still making improvements,” he adds.
KARA spends considerable time informing members about safety, regulations and the need for inspections. Tunnell notes that ResponsibleAg brings multiple safety efforts together into one oversight group.
“ResponsibleAg offers an immense benefit for our members,” Tunnell says. “Companies can demonstrate to their employees that safety is important. We can do more to positively influence public perception that we focus on safety and compliance and that we’re willing to do what it takes to be safe when handling our products.
“Public perception is reality,” he adds. “ResponsibleAg helps us enhance that perception and affirm that it is a positive one.”