Mapping the regulatory landscape for sourcing
At the heart of our flavours business is the essential requirement for national and international compliance and a ‘safety first’ approach to product development, and this will never change. At the same time, sustainability is moving more to the fore, as our customers and their consumers become increasingly aware of the need to create and consume products derived from sustainable sources.
David, Vice President Global Product Safety & Regulatory Assurance, frames the scope of the issues faced by the Company, in relation to sustainability: “Not only do we have to comply with regulatory changes by the authorities, but our customers also face pressures, internally and externally, to develop more sustainable products. From the regulatory perspective, as we identify raw materials that are equitably sourced or derive from sustainable sources, we must ensure that they meet the exact levels of safety standards – together with the same global regulatory requirements for use that we expect at Givaudan.”
While we are experienced in responding to regulatory and sourcing challenges, Regulatory is also very proactive in working with the business to secure long-term sustainable ingredients for our ingredient palette.
David: “On the supply side, Givaudan may identify an ingredient that is at risk for sustainable sourcing in the future, and we must seek alternatives.
“Prospectively, Regulatory identifies issues from another perspective. We provide an early warning system, looking at developing consumer concerns and evolving regulations. By understanding these developing trends, we support the business in future-proofing solutions for our customers, and we can make a positive difference in satisfying the complex sustainable supply needs of our customers.”
Traceability and origination
Another major issue that Regulatory addresses, with regards to sustainability, is in the area of traceability and origination. For a number of reasons, customers increasingly demand transparency on the source of raw materials and their traceable origins. In fact, our efforts with palm oil, whereby palm oil certification is now fully available, represents a good example of this. Realising that these issues will increase and our need to respond quickly will also expand, we have developed industry leading tools to assist the organisation in finding appropriate sustainable replacements.
David comments: “Regulatory now has a new Compliance Engine in place, which is designed to allow us to provide in-depth information on ‘track and trace’ issues.
“The Compliance Engine provides us with a great deal of flexibility around managing the issue of sustainability and traceability, and we can incorporate that type of ingredient information to track and monitor progress on ingredients moving forward.”
Perceived wisdom is that Regulatory compliance is about interpreting the regulations and how they may impact the business and our customers. That is a significant part of Regulatory’s activities, but the focus is becoming much more anticipatory, with Givaudan doing the long-term thinking to advise on and manage customer needs and expectations into the future, with sustainability now a central consideration.
David sums it up in this way: “For both Flavours and Fragrances, with our focus on developing trends and our new Compliance Engine, we have the capabilities in place to ensure the products that we deliver to any customer fully meet their needs – today and tomorrow. So on the Flavours side, if a customer needs a natural, organic, sustainably sourced flavour, we can set the system up to ensure the effective delivery of those types of products, all of which comply with regulations. It opens up a wide vista of opportunities and solutions, enabling us to help our customers fulfil their market needs quickly, satisfying consumer and societal demands for more sustainable products.