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Supply Chain Integrity: Who Will Pay?

Posted: October 30, 2007

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The pressure to lower costs is a bigger problem than ever, which makes the flavor industry extremely wary of increased costs resulting from expanded supply chain integrity costs. A “trickle-down” effect, as one attendee termed it, just won’t do. Costs must be shared among suppliers, manufacturers and consumers.

“Unfortunately,” said Henry, “I think we are in a new era. I think there’re costs associated with it … There’s concern that there are numerous small mom-and-pop operations abroad that cannot participate now in global trade and will be out of business.”

Simultaneously, there seemed to be a general feeling that consumers must be more educated on actual health risks and the costs incurred by increased supply chain scrutiny. An avid chocolate fan and lab specialist, Matthew Breeze (Covance Laboratories) is well aware that he is exposed to cadmium and lead. “You really don’t want to know what you’re exposed to on a daily basis,” he joked. “People [consumers] have to have realistic expectations about what they’re exposed to. A lot of it’s going to be education.”

Henry concurred. As industry analytics get ever closer in the chase for 0, he said, “We have to get ahead of the game in asking the right questions up front, not about how low can we go, but how low should we go?"