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Traceability: Are nutraceutical businesses doing enough?

Consumers are becoming more and more savvy on the issue of sustainability. Traceability is about documenting a responsible and sustainable value chain in a transparent manner. As such, traceability is more important than ever for companies to show the credibility of their ingredients.

In fact, in an environment where transparency and openness are the future of supplements, product traceability is an increasingly important tool to demonstrate and root your company as responsible and trustworthy. Traceability is the tangible proof that companies and brands walk their talk on sustainability.

A growing portion of consumers are not willing to accept health and wellness-based products that compromise our environment and ecosystems and this demand is requiring many companies to respond. Brands with social responsibility messaging and those with positive actions regarding ingredient sourcing, improving supply chains, and end product manufacturing, will thrive in tomorrow’s market. And many of the up-and-coming brands who recognise this, will proactively build sustainability and documented traceability into their business models.

For the dietary supplements industry, certifications and tools are needed to help put the proper standards in place. Industry has the responsibility to drive these changes as well as pave the way regarding sustainability, traceability and product authenticity to meet consumer expectations across the globe.

Runa Haug Khoury, Sustainability Director at Aker BioMarine, explains, “Consumers are taking control of their own lifestyle in a new way, and digital tools support this. The development within the beauty segment in Europe is a great example. Companies are developing apps that can scan a QR-code on a product, instantly providing the consumer with a full list and explanation of product ingredients such as: no animal testing, no harmful chemicals and other key information that the so called ‘responsible consumer’ is typically concerned with.”

2019 marked a year in which environmental concern gained massive attention, at a whole new scale, worldwide. From school strikes for climate action to financial investor communities setting a whole new course with much stricter so called ESG reporting requirements, the momentum for incorporating sustainability aspects into the core foresight and strategic positioning of businesses just accelerated at an unprecedented pace and scope. Naturally, these tendencies in such large parts of society also manifests into changing consumer preferences.

Haug Khoury continues, “The issue of sustainability in the supplements category is rapidly growing across the board, but the actual extent of documented traceability will vary significantly between brands and companies”.

“Traceability will likely become a growing competitive element in many industries. If you are an early mover on ensuring your own supply chain is responsible and safe in all parts, and managing to document and communicate this in a transparent and understandable manner, I think this will be a competitive advantage both to your company and to your brand identity.”

As part of Vitafoods Digital Week, we'll be hosting Runa Haug Khoury on our podcast to speak further about bringing traceability to life for businesses, and the role it plays from an environmental, social and financial perspective. Head to Vitafoods Digital Week and keep an eye on this page for the live link once the podcast goes live on 15 May. 

TAGS: Supply Chain
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