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Lonza: Making the most of co-manufacturing partnerships

In an evolving consumer landscape, the role of the contract manufacturer is more important than ever before. Vitafoods Insights speaks with Joachim Meier, Director, Head of Sales EMEA at Lonza Consumer Health and Nutrition to find out more about how co-manufacturing partnerships can help dietary supplement brands to more effectively deliver the solutions consumers are demanding.

How can large-scale co-manufacturers support customers with additional services?

The role of the contract manufacturer is to support brand owners in the dietary supplements industry by providing the resources and infrastructure required to manufacture products. As a leader in health and nutrition, Lonza’s goal is to deliver ingredients, capsules and dosage form solutions that cater to the needs of our customers. We use our extensive knowledge and experience to support with everything from R&D and quality control, to achieving operational excellence throughout the manufacturing process.

An integral part of our role at the beginning of production, for instance, is sourcing high-quality materials. Lonza’s position as an integrated solutions provider means that we are able to source these from either our reliable and trusted raw material suppliers, or use our own science-backed ingredients and capsule offerings. This not only helps to streamline the quality, efficiency and traceability of manufacturing, but also means we can meet the needs of customers looking for ready-to-market solutions.

Across the board, we are seeing more brands expect solutions that have been shown, through extensive research and testing, to both fulfil brand promises and meet consumer expectations. For this reason, we also support customers to conduct clinical trials as required and share the relevant stability data, thus providing the tools to get products to market faster.

What measures are put into place to ensure both parties are compliant with legal and regulatory requirements?

It is essential that contract manufacturers remain aware of current and upcoming legislations and implement any measures required to ensure that they, their customers and the products they develop are fully compliant and adhere to industry standards. For that reason, Lonza has an in-house regulatory department in place that actively monitors any global changes in requirements. We then proactively work with customers, both on-the-ground and online, to provide the support they need.

Transparency is another issue that is at the forefront for many brands in the dietary supplements industry today. As such, more companies are seeking contract manufacturers that can deliver the traceability consumers are looking for throughout the supply chain. As an example, suppliers adhering to International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) guidelines are regularly inspected and audited by certifying bodies. Customers are encouraged to visit supplier facilities to provide assurance that it, as a partner in product development, can deliver solutions that are safe, reliable and meet quality standards.

What measures should a contract manufacturer have in place for quality assurance?

A priority for contract manufacturers at the beginning of the production process should be to source raw materials and ingredients and delivery systems of the highest standard. We recognise the importance of ensuring the quality and traceability of the ingredients, capsules and dosage forms we use in our operations, and maintain close communication with our raw material suppliers — carrying out extensive quality control checks in-house throughout the manufacturing process. We have in-process controls in place for all critical parameters, and conduct a full quality analysis of the final product before it goes to market.

What should businesses be aware of when considering the production of products on a commercial scale?

Sourcing high-quality raw materials can be challenging, particularly when they are derived from animals or plants. It is, however, important that brand owners and contract manufacturers are aware that this is essential in order to ensure consistency of operations and product performance. Selecting cheap raw materials may seem an effective way to reduce costs, however companies risk compromising end-product quality and safety by doing so. That is why we actively encourage businesses working with contract manufacturers to ask questions and ensure the manufacturer has the equipment, resources and suppliers in place to deliver the standards they expect.

High machinability of capsules, for example, is important when production is at a commercial scale. Quality enables efficiency, which is why – while problems do inevitably arise from time to time – we endeavor to strive for the best at all times, utilising our R&D and operational expertise to develop safe and effective products. Delivering excellent customer experience is also important for us — for example, through our technical services team and the on-site support that our experts provide with capsule filling.

Lonza is proud to be the Official Capsule Sponsor of Vitafoods Europe 2019. Lonza experts will be available at the show, from 7-9 May 2019, to discuss our integrated capabilities in further detail. Visit us at stand G10 to find out more.

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