What a relief it must have been for Tiger Brands’ remuneration committee that its 2018 financial year was a truly nightmarish one. The difficult economic conditions drove every performance measure sharply south — so it didn’t have to grapple with whether to pay bonuses in a year in which 209 customers died of listeriosis.Revenue was down 9%, squeezed operating margins meant operating income slumped 28% and headline earnings were 26% lower; cash from operations was gutted. This meant there was absolutely no chance of short-or long-term bonuses for any Tiger Brands executives. Remarkably, if there had been earnings growth, there’s nothing in the group’s remuneration policy that would have stopped the committee from paying generous rewards, despite hundreds of people dying as a result of listeriosis picked up through one of the firm’s products.This seems particularly bizarre, given that the company’s stated purpose is to "nourish and nurture more lives every day". And lest you forget a...

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