The company recently unveiled its Guidelines for Botanical Raw Materials GMPs and has been in intensive consultation with the industry ever since. And speaking with NutraIngredients-USA at the recent Expo West show in Anaheim, Mike Archbold, CEO of GNC, said the botanical raw material GMPs are “absolutely a great solution for the industry”.
“This ensures we have full traceability of our product from seed to shelf, so that we know what is actually gone on in the industry, where the product has come from,” he said. “We understand everything from the cultivar to the harvesting to the processing to the packaging to the shelf. So, when we say to the consumer that we know that’s in there is in there. We can guarantee the safety, purity, potency, and quality of our products.”
Archbold confirmed that the response from the industry has been “really good”, which he says is because the company has engaged the industry and worked with the experts. “This was really a product from the industry for the industry,” he said.
“Across the board, we’ve had over 80 different companies involved in the consortium ranging from our fellow retailers to the raw material manufacturers to the pharmaceutical companies to the MLM companies, even to the mass market players in the space,” he said. “Everyone knows that the time is right for us to do something, and credit to the industry for coming together and making this happen.”
Botanical raw material standards are just one part of a much bigger plan. “One of the next steps in the initiative is going to be the media plan,” said Archbold. “This is very complicated material but we need to make sure we can speak in consumer friendly terms. Things like safety, purity, potency, and quality. Things like tracking your product from seed to shelf.”
There is a media plan, he said, but there’s also a lot of heavy lifting along the way, including a database associated with the products that would be accessible to consumers and regulators.
“It’s not a GNC initiative,” he said. “It’s a broad based industry initiative that the industry has really embraced.”
“In the end, it’s the consumer confidence that drives this industry. Consumers have long had confidence in their supplement and we need to make we defend that confidence.”