China is at it again. Are we being vigilant enough?

February 11th, 2010

This author has posted on many occasions regarding the risks and potential rewards associated with offshore sourcing, particularly as it relates to China and the care we should take in doing so.

A blurb in Today’s News Briefing section of USA TODAY was titled China recalls 170 tons of tainted milk powder. On the surface one might think this is good news because the product was detected and removed from the supply chain. The bad news is we thought the same thing in 2008 about the same exact product. Not the same issues with a new product, but the exact same product that was to have been recalled and destroyed but was repackaged and then distributed again. The product again is milk power tainted with melamine which I have posted on in the past.

The product mentioned above may not have been destined for or ever have made out side of China. The real issue is what is being done by companies to check for and insure the ingredients, formulas and makeup of products they are buying overseas when unscrupulous individuals or poorly run companies try to pull the wool over our eyes. Who is your internal agent that asks the right questions? Who are your service providers that do the same on your behalf? It is something that most companies do not think about and need to.

Below are four posts from previous years on related subjects. Please review and refresh your efforts on the behalf of your consumers to make sure that your offshore purchases have less risk associated with them.

1. Do we get quality products from China?  When will we and how much will it cost? 9/08/2008

2. At what cost profit? Procurement professionals need to exercise great care when sourcing food products from China. 10/22/2008

3. Let’s review a good idea from China and build on the traceability discussion. 10/08/2008

4. Part II of II What should grocery product procurement professionals know and do about Melamine. 12/01/2008

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

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