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What are my customers doing with my product?

Many ingredient manufacturers have customers in two markets, the general public and finished goods manufacturers. While the ingredients that are processed may be very similar, the processing could be significantly different in respect to the type of Critical Control Points in the HACCP plan.

The important factor in the HACCP plans for both markets is “who is the customer?” It is a very basic question that is asked during the development of the Product Group to support the products’ Hazard Analyses. The question may be easy for a company that manufactures baby food or more difficult for a company that supplies the general public.

What if you are an ingredient manufacturer who supplies to the finished goods manufacturers? What if the processing of the ingredient is significantly affected by the market that your customer may sell their product in or the processing is affected by specific instructions in the customer’s ingredient specifications?

Obviously, one HACCP plan may not fit all of your processing needs. Additionally, the actual utilization of the HACCP plan can become even more complex. Does your company truly know how your customer is using your ingredient in their process or even who is their targeted customer.

Ingredient manufacturers can struggle with multiple specifications for the same ingredient to different finished goods manufacturers. These specifications can be vague on the end usage or hopefully provide some insight into the end usage through the microbial tests, limits, and Certificate of Analysis requirements. Understanding if the ingredient is used in a “Not Ready to Eat” versus a “Ready to Eat” product is of great relevance, but knowing the processing of the ingredient for either of the applications is critical knowledge in understanding if the ingredient is being appropriately used by the customer. If a customer inappropriately uses an ingredient in a formulation, who is responsible?

N2N Global’s “Food Safety Manager” (FSM) and Partner Management (PM) provides you with solutions to bring clarity to the relationship with your partners. The ease of use in the creation and maintenance of HACCP plans allows much greater flexibility for the ingredient manufacturer in the management of their risk with the customer’s end usages. The further layering of understanding provided by Partner Management of the customer’s end usage of the ingredient into your HACCP plan development based upon a “customer by customer” usage at the specific ingredient level can significantly reduce your risk of a food safety event.

The increased understanding of requirements will enhance the relationship with the customer and reduce confusion within of the supply chain.

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