NOW, which began in 1948 as one of the first soy foods companies, was committed to an open and honest way of doing business right from the start, Emme told NutraIngredients-USA. Emme was interviewed in Chicago recently at William Reed’s inaugural Healthy & Natural trade show.
Emme said conducting business in a transparent manner is really in the interest of all companies within the sphere. A supply chain failure on the part of one brand that might allow an adulterated or potentially unsafe ingredient to find its way onto the shelf could potentially paint the entire industry with a broad brush. The mainstream media has in recent years been all too quick to jump on the “unregulated—unsafe” bandwagon.
“There has been a lot of negative press about products being what they say they are, and truthfulness and transparency in the industry. My biggest concern that a consumer somewhere will get ill from consuming a natural product. That really comes form the supply chain,” Emme said.
“We do reject raw materials. We will make sure not to use that vendor again. Our concern is, is everyone rejecting raw materials,” he said.
Emme said that some of the quality initiatives can be expensive, such as sending employees out to verify where ingredients come from. For a company like NOW, with thousands of SKUs and a global supply chain, this is no small undertaking. But Emme said that consumer trust is the company’s most valuable asset and has to be protected.
“It’s not a question of ow expensive it is, it is a question of truly building the brand trust and the equity with the quality and value,” he said.