A finished can of Infant Formula (IF) is a wonderful thing. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has published the infant feeding recommendation and Infant Formula is an excellent alternative to breast milk if that is not available.
Infant Formula has three main categories of consumer: 0-6 months (Infant formula), 6-12 months (Follow-on formula), and 12-36 months (Growing up formula). It’s available in standard or organic blends, including either bovine or cow-based milk, ovine or sheep-based milk, caprine or goat-based milk and no lactose or soy-based product.
Every tin of Infant Formula is specifically, and scientifically developed to be made for one of the most vulnerable populations on the planet.
While the different types of milk are a key ingredient, many other vitamins, minerals and inputs are formulated together to make it what it is. When some of these formulas can have upwards of 35 ingredients in them, it can get very complex. Regular supplier audits with defined parameters and metrics provide you with the level of assurance that your ingredients meet final product specifications and customer requirements. Supplier audits also allow for good relationships with your ingredient suppliers.
When you decide to export, all importing country standards vary. One of the more complex is the Chinese GB standards. All standards need to be adhered to, to allow your product to be exported to the specific market(s) you are supplying to.
Companies choose to get GFSI or Global Food Safety Initiative accreditation to bolster their food security and food defense capabilities around the manufacture of these products. These certifications can include FSSC 22000, BRC, and SQF.
Complex Global Supply Chains
But even before then, Produco can help you plan and prepare for the step up to these standards. Why bother you ask? When you see instances like the Melamine Food Adulteration scandal in China that killed and injured many infants you can see why manufacturers and ultimately consumers need to be protected from unscrupulous actions from suppliers. We need to be confident in the product we are feeding our babies.
Supply chains for these important products are long and multifaceted. A single ingredient can have numerous manufacturing inputs, and an ingredient and its sub ingredients can come from all over the world. These ingredients can be sold through layers of middlemen, further clouding the origins and the providence of your purchase. Then there is also the food grade packaging to contend with. This adds a spiderweb of complexity to the finished product.
How Often Should You Audit Suppliers?
‘On the ground’ supplier auditing at the origin is the key to unlocking the security and clarity of the ingredients and packaging you are purchasing and ensuring their safety throughout their journey to your finished product.
While smaller to medium sized companies run the risk of not auditing, or irregular auditing, some of the large multinational infant formula companies employ an army of auditors based in multiple countries to undertake due diligence and assess supply. This lowers the risk, but is costly and logistically challenging. You can do it better. And cheaper.
We Can Be Your Eyes on the Ground
With the new Covid-19 global and even local restrictions, it has become harder for people to move around in their daily and business lives. There’s uncertainty when borders will re-open and under what conditions. Produco is based across Australia and New Zealand and has a long history within the Infant formula industry and its supply chains. We are expert auditors with resources across the 2 countries that can work and travel on an as-needed basis to give you the clarity you require across all, or part of your supply chain.
We have an embedded understanding and knowledge of all of the ingredients and their origins and the FSANZ (Food Standards Australia New Zealand) standards. We can be your eyes on the ground. When you can’t be.