KND Labs’ director of sales, Dave Swanwick, is fresh off a visit to SupplySide West expo and conference in Las Vegas. SupplySide brings together buyers and suppliers from the health and nutrition industries and focuses on the science and strategy around the development of finished products.
Along with our partners at Healthy Food Ingredients (HFI), Dave led a presentation titled How CBD brands can meet safety, quality and efficacy standards for food and beverage.
For those that weren’t on hand in Vegas, here is a recap of the five checkpoints and questions you should be asking to ensure your brand meets all the proper safety measures.
First and foremost, verify the supplier you are working with is actually the one making the ingredients they are selling. Next, you want to ensure the supplier has the proper compliance and science-based teams to meet your needs.
We also recommend asking your supplier for a tour of their facilities. Not only is it a red flag if they aren’t willing to give you a tour, but it’s also a great opportunity to better understand their products, teams and processes.
It is crucial to verify your supplier has the ability to scale to meet your needs. Only a few hemp cannabinoid ingredient manufacturers have the ability to produce and sell more than 1,000kg per month.
Does your supplier have the proper vendor qualification and verification plan in place in addition to adequate processes, machinery, staff and management structure?
Strict Adherence to Written and Audited SOPs
Make sure your supplier is in line with the industry standards related to compliance and certifications. A few certifications every supplier should have include GMP 111 (dietary supplements), GMP 117 (food/beverage), ISO 9001-2015, Kosher and Halal, etc., GFSI and organic.
Furthermore, suppliers should be up to date with all proper audit procedures, specifically cGMPs from reputable auditors (SGS, NSF).
Robust Third-Party Testing
Suppliers should undergo rigorous testing processes, both in-house and third-party. While it is generally safe to trust testing claims, it’s also good practice to verify those accreditations.
Be sure to verify the extraction lab has a food quality track record, technical specifications, MSDS and recall SOPs. Additionally, the analytical testing lab should be ISO accredited and experienced in cannabinoid testing.
Other important qualifications include internationally accepted certifying bodies (SGS, NSF, COOP, etc.), product liability insurance, stability testing and a QA/QC department.
Ensure Supplier is a Profitable Company
Before entering any agreement, it is important to know the supplier has the ability to work with you through the long haul — from early stages such as R&D to the actual production process.
There are a few steps you can take and questions to ask to ensure you are working with a healthy, functioning business. First, is the supplier the one who is actually producing the ingredients? Many suppliers in the industry are actually resellers or shell companies.
Is the supplier well-respected and a key player in the industry? Many profitable companies will invest in themselves and the industry to maintain a healthy economy.
Finally, don’t settle for paying the lowest price. It is not cheap for the top suppliers to develop and adhere to an elevated level of ingredient quality, safety, compliance and testing protocols.
If your supplier boasts the necessary experience, has the ability to scale to meet your needs and meets industry standards for compliance, certifications and testing, then have faith you are receiving industry-leading ingredients — even if it means paying a little more.
The KND Labs Difference
KND Labs is proud to be forging the path for compliant and successful businesses in the CBD industry. We are happy to speak with colleagues and partners, in and outside of the industry, to answer any questions and continue to learn from each other. Please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1 833-KND-4-CBD.