Our values start within the company. We hold ourselves to the same rigorous standards we want to see the industry meet.
KPI: Percentage of crop and ingredient suppliers meeting preferred food integrity score threshold
We work solely with suppliers who have passed the rigorous standards of both the industry and our own internal assessment process.
The very nature of the product being organic means that there are certain universal controls that exist, and because of the additional high standards that we have committed to as a company, we are able to drastically reduce the risk of fraudulent product making its way downstream to the consumer.
Through our Food Fraud Risk Assessment and Scorecard, we rate suppliers as high, medium or low risk based on a numerical system derived from questions pertaining to four different categories: Opportunities, Motivation, Supplier Applied Controls, and Pipeline Applied Controls. Our assessment is different because we measure using quantification instead of qualification; if a supplier rates as a medium risk, we know specifically where they are within the medium range, and how much their numerical score will need to decrease in order to reach low risk status.
If a supplier rates as high risk, we disqualify them. If they rate as medium, we do a boots on the ground audit, as we recently did with a potential supplier in India. Two members of our team traveled to the country to observe the operations in person and work with the supplier to recommend changes and create an implementation plan.
***Write a little more about the India experience here.***
We partner with various organizations to develop industry standards that focus on increased prevention measures to minimize organic fraud.
In May 2017, Pipeline Foods joined with the Organic Trade Association (OTA) and 47 other companies in convening the Global Organic Supply Chain Integrity (GOSCI) Task force, to develop a best-practices guide for preventing fraud specifically for the organic industry. The task force adopted a model that highlights the motivation behind fraud to better understand the detection and prevention activities that need to be developed based on a company’s susceptibility or exposure to food fraud risk.
Following the creation of the best-practices guide, the OTA launched a pilot program, running from June – September 2018 in which 13 OTA member companies, including Pipeline Foods, “test drove” in their specific businesses the fraud prevention strategies described in the guide. Participants concentrated on one product or ingredient, and developed fraud mitigation measures based on the results of a vulnerability assessment that identifies weak points in a supply chain that increase exposure to fraud. Pilot participants informed the final version of the guide, and helped set the stage for implementing a corresponding program, named Organic Fraud Prevention Solutions. The mission of the program is to assure the authenticity of organic products by mitigating the occurrence of organic fraud.
The goal of the program is to establish a framework and formal process for businesses to create continuously improving internal programs for achieving organic integrity throughout their associated supply chains. The program requires training, registration and the development of an organic fraud prevention plan, followed by confirmation by an accredited certifier and public acknowledgment of enrollment on the Organic Trade Association’s Find.Organic Business Directory (coming soon). Organic Fraud Prevention Solutions is not a certification or verification program nor is it a product label. Instead, the program serves as a business-to-business marketing advantage designed to improve internal quality assurance programs. It is also designed to complement and reinforce USDA’s organic standards and the work of the accredited certifying agencies.
We drive product integrity and protect the organic label, seeking to maintain and grow consumer confidence in organic food.
In 2018, Americans spent $52.5 billion on organic products, with organic food sales totaling almost 6% of total retail food sales. With average annual growth rates in the double digits, the organic industry is here to stay.
We understand that the largest impact is made by utilizing all resources, both internal and external. If as a company we only prioritize that which we have direct influence over, we lose the opportunity to have a greater impact. We’ve done a supply chain analysis to discover where we can have the biggest impact.