October 17, 2023
The pandemic sent a shock through the global supply chain for dietary ingredients that companies are only now recovering from. A three-hour education session at the upcoming SupplySide West trade show will lay out the lessons that have been learned.
The shocks to the global supply of dietary ingredients were driven mostly by pandemic lockdowns in several countries, most notably China. This gave rise to major kinks in the flow and supply of shipping containers. The reverberations of this, with containers sitting empty in some locations and scarce in others, have only recently begun to smooth out.
Atmosphere of scarcity
It made for a condition of scarcity in which many manufacturers started to hold more inventory than they had been accustomed to. Prices rose and supplies on the open market fell, which consumers experienced as many products were out of stock temporarily or for longer periods.
The big takeaway for suppliers and their customers: The way of doing things before the pandemic, in which many herbal products and other dietary ingredients could be ordered with short lead times, no longer provides sufficient security. The war in Ukraine and the shocks that reverberated through the global supply system only served to reinforce that idea.
Buyers now say having a close relationship with suppliers is of prime importance. To that end, the opening session of the program, which takes place on the morning of Tuesday, Oct. 24, is devoted to getting to know herbal farmers face to face.
Know your grower
This opening session, which is organized in cooperation with the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA), will introduce attendees to four herbal farmers and a longtime distributor. It will be an opportunity to hear how their business practices have changed in this new supply environment.
The farmers are Marisol Cervates Bobadilla of Mexico, Rajnish Awasthi of India and domestic producers Matt Dybala and Jeff Higley. Joining the panel will be herbal ingredients sourcing expert Edward Fletcher.
Another panel discussion during the event will put some numbers around the supply chain question. Brandon Casteel of the market research firm SPINS will provide data on supply chain concerns that are top of mind for consumers. Anand Swaroop of the Indian supplier Cepham will present data his company has accumulated on climate change concerns and how that is affecting the abundance and quality of herbal ingredients. And Scott Steinford, principal of the consulting firm Trust Transparency Center, will present a check list he gives to clients to ensure their supply chain concerns are met when looking for a contract manufacturing partner.
Two individual presentations will round out the morning session. One, from Shelley Blackwell of EAS Consulting Group, will focus on data security while the other, from Marielle Weintraub of Eurofins, will examine testing requirements.
The session, “Supply Chain Challenges and Innovations,” will be held in the South Pacific Ballroom F at Mandalay Bay from 9 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, Oct. 24.
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