Animal Nutrition

How to choose a good ingredients supplier

Understand the main risks that may compromise product value

Hazard Analysis and Control of Critical Points (HACCP) is one of the most famous tools for detecting problems that can compromise the supply chain. Its methodology of foreseeing problems allows the use of preventive measures to check the quality of ingredients and solve the problem before it reaches the final consumer.


Physical, chemical and biological hazards can be naturally present and should be taken into account when managing suppliers. The chemicals ones, in turn, may pose more risk because they are invisible, as technical manager with Flavor Food Consultancy, Ana Claudia Frota warns: “the vast majority of industries does not have controls in place for this type of pesticide.” A check-up plan based on external analysis alone is not enough to detect the use of pesticides, for example.


Due to the fact that samplings are not representative, identifying a problem may not be possible at all. Research and analysis data suggest that depending on the microorganism involved this problem may be significant, both because of high probability of occurrence and because of how harmful it is to human health, especially to that of faithful consumers.

Requirements for supplier qualification

In addition to legal requirements, Ana Claudia highlights other data that should be considered, such as those that show how inputs are manufactured and controlled:

 – Audit reports at supplier facilities;

 – Qualification programs self-assessment questionnaires;

 – Technical specifications;

 – Analysis reports explaining quality and standards;

 – Manufacturing process;

 – Historical records of receipt of inputs in the plant.

These may be the most laborious parts of the process, but they are also very important.

“There is no 99% safe product. Either it is safe, or it is not”, Ana Claudia emphasizes, adding that managers should not be content in considering only hazards already provided for in legislation, ignoring other potential risks associated with the production chain, the product itself and the manufacturing process. It is a good idea to invest time to know the particularities of any given input because controlling safety throughout the process within the company’s premises may not be effective.

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