Safety certifications go well beyond food products and food born illness protection.

September 28th, 2009

There is any number of related safety issues that procurement knowledge workers should be thinking about relative to product safety when they speak with their suppliers?

Many times the ideas for my blog posts come from conversations with customers or prospects. Often times these same thoughts make it into our product development plans. In fact listening to our customers is one of our most important jobs.

During a recent visit with a retailer, their head of procurement complimented me on our companies efforts related to food safety and in particular commented on the more than 30 safety certifications we hold our 300,000 plus global suppliers accountable to in our SafeSourceIt™ Supplier Database. His thinking was that since they did not sell fresh foods, that area of our business did not apply to them.

This particular retailer does however sell packaged food products, pet food, cosmetics, private label bottled water and also bags these products l for their customers in plastic bags. I think most of you can see where I’m heading with this. Plastic bags are a concern for many areas of the country and in fact outlawed in some areas due to their environmental impact. Food packaging can contain BPA. Dog food has contained products such as melamine. Toys have been found to contain lead. Recently the U.S. government issued a warning on baby garments sold by a popular children’s label. Without too much effort we came up with the following five categories.

1. Clothing
2. Packaged Foods
3. Pet Food
4. Toys
5. Bottled Water.

This author would suggest that we need to exercise care with all of the products we buy. Your suppliers need to be accountable to a number of standards and certifications while also providing traceability for those products beyond the one forward and one back standard that is generally supported in the industry today.

Procurement solution providers need to be prepared to discuss how they intend to accomplish this level of accountability for their retail partners in order to limit consumer risk, while also helping to mitigate potential related risks associated with litigation and other recall related costs that have a direct impact on company profit.

We appreciate and look forward to your comments

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