The initiative, unveiled by the Natural Products Association’s Dr Daniel Fabricant at SupplySide West last week, aims to unify standards for manufacturers, with the goal of increasing consumer confidence.
Speaking with NutraIngredients-USA, Dr Fabricant said: “We’ve been working hand-in-hand with a lot of retailers to develop a system very much like GFSI, which was retailer led. You really need that to push the supply chain and say these are the standards if you want to be on our shelves.
“It’s not a strong-arm tactic. No matter the audit scheme there’s a way to benchmark it and compare apples with apples.
“We’ve got buy in from major retailers. Everyone out there is looking to do the right thing.”
The SSCI creates an industry leadership group (ILG), which includes retailers, raw material manufacturers and suppliers, dietary supplement manufacturers, and other stakeholders, who will share best practices and ensure the standards are met at a local level.
“The SSCI is a benchmarked standard for manufacturers and the first of its kind, true third party auditing and certification system that allows for real transparency, consistent quality products, and real quality control supply chain qualification,” said NPA in promotional material.
GNC: “We need to demonstrate progress from an industry self-regulation standpoint”
The SSCI is one of the major initiatives happening in the industry, and compliments the botanical raw material GMPs being led by the American Herbal Products Association and the product registry being led by the Council for Responsible Nutrition.
The initiatives were sparked by GNC and then handed over to the trade association to develop, explained Dr Guru Ramanathan, GNC’s chief innovation officer.
“We felt it was our obligation as industry leaders to take the initiative and bring all of our partners – those who do business with us, our peers, as well as our competitors – together so that we wouldn’t be talking about this a year from now. It became important to make sure we demonstrate progress from an industry self-regulation standpoint,” said Dr Ramanathan.
“We identified three pillars: Firstly, how do you define what good agricultural practice and good manufacturing practice should be for botanical raw materials. The second pillar focused on providing the FDA and others who have a need to know information about the products that are being sold, and so it was important to create a registry or database for finished product information. The third initiative was to ensure a minimum standard is being utilized in the production of dietary supplements.
“Once we’d got these to a certain point, it made absolute sense to hand these over to the trade associations to carry them forward and make this an industry self-regulatory initiative.”