Friday, January 04, 2008

A Honorable Man

January 4, 2008

There really is some honor left in the business world.

I hadn’t heard anything from the folks at Litchfield Locker and my blood was boiling, I was preparing to send letters to every news media entity that had ever done a story on us.

I wanted to “tell the world” about what a lousy job Litchfield Locker had done for us.

We had lost over 100 pounds of sausage from our old processor and then to loose all this meat just put me over the edge.

But I decided to call Litchfield and give them one more chance before I unleashed my “army”, I still had not heard anything from them and being ignored is worse than anything else someone could do to me.

I am glad I waited. I arranged a meeting with Bjarne Svensson, co owner.

Yesterday I drove the hour and 45 minutes and arrived around 8:30 to meet with Bjarne.

We went upstairs, he offered me a seat and listened to my dissertation of what had happened, how well we are known because of our Certified Humane designation and what my future plans were on the farm along with our need to develop a long term relationship with both a Slaughter House and a Processor.

Bjarne is “Old School”, honorable, calm (good thing he’s a big guy) and a man with vision, most importantly he backs up his product and his word. He offered to buy our whole pig… after his offer was made a third time I took him up on it and he immediately wrote me a check for the entire amount.

That is something unheard of in today’s business.

We talked for almost an hour, he showed me around, explained that he had just bought in four short months ago and had already made some of the “past practice’s” disappear.

This man impressed me, that ain’t easy.

He took time to explain how to get more out of my product and more importantly he made me understand why things are done the way they are. Why as an example if you make different kinds of sausage you loose some meat in the process, how long it takes to change between these different sausage batches etc. Knowledge is power and now I at least had a better understanding of how things work and why.

Bjarne and I come from the same school as we both feel “If I don’t like it. I won’t sell it”.

So now I feel comfortable in taking the next load of three pigs to be killed at Bristol Beef and processed by Litchfield Locker. I fully expect to develop a long term business relationship with both facilities and I expect our customers to be glad we have made this decision.

On the way home I immediately called the other farms whom I had relayed my past experience to and I strongly suggested to them that they give Litchfield a try, I think all concerned will be happy with the arrangement.

My apologies to Bjarne for not meeting with him face to face before I fired the broadside, in this day and age it is not a normal occurrence to meet such a man with high standards, old school business practices and a honorable way of solving mistakes.




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