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Sourcing Vendors who will provide a COA


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fgjuadi

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Posted 16 June 2014 - 04:08 PM

Hi

 

My purchasing department claims they can't find a vendor who will provide a COA for some of our high risk, common ingredients - butter, heavy cream, etc

 

We order small quantites as we are a small company, so min order has to be tiny

 

Does anyone know of any major (nation-wide, US here) distributors who will provide a COA? Currently we are using US Foodservice, which will not provide COAs per delivery

 

 

Does anyone know how to source a vendor?  Like vendor sourcing 101?  Just google serach "wholesale ____" and call um up and ask them?


Edited by Simon, 16 June 2014 - 07:13 PM.

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KevinB

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Posted 16 June 2014 - 04:22 PM

Hi Mangenta

We have the same issue dealing with distributors Sysco is currently my biggest problem. You can sometimes go straight to the mfg for the COA which is what we do when purchasing Cabot butter. Cabot has been very good to work with and has always provided the requested info however this is not true of all "name" brand supplier through distributors. Your best bet is to call the MFG with the lot number and see if you can get it directly from them. 

 

Kevin



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Snookie

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Posted 16 June 2014 - 05:37 PM

And now Sysco and US Food service is becoming the same.....hate to see that happen.  Is interesting that you are having difficulty getting documentation from them.  Having worked for companies that supplied for them (not dairy), they required a lot of paperwork from us including COA's. 


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fgjuadi

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 01:46 PM

Whats most frustrating about it is an exception for a major vendor means my purchasing dept isnt even bothering with COAs anymore (if we don't need it for them why do we need it for everyone else, that's too hard for vendors, they don't even know what documents you're askgn for/never heard of COA, etc etc), and production has taken this asshole attitude where I put things on hold and then they use it anyway and give me a big smug smile when it's holding up production and we have no choice but to run.  It's a phyrric victory, production and purchasing! All you're "winning" is the ability to make unsafe food :angry2:


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Snookie

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 03:38 PM

Whats most frustrating about it is an exception for a major vendor means my purchasing dept isnt even bothering with COAs anymore (if we don't need it for them why do we need it for everyone else, that's too hard for vendors, they don't even know what documents you're askgn for/never heard of COA, etc etc), and production has taken this asshole attitude where I put things on hold and then they use it anyway and give me a big smug smile when it's holding up production and we have no choice but to run.  It's a phyrric victory, production and purchasing! All you're "winning" is the ability to make unsafe food :angry2:

 

This is a constant battle that I am soooo tired of.  But if something goes wrong.....it will be why didn't QA, catch it, stop it, prevent it....... :doh:  Really!  Why can't I work with responsible adults sometime in my career.


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ShannonH

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 03:44 PM

We are a smaller company as well but are able to order some things like butter from Dawn Foods.  We can get COA's from them no problem.  Maybe they are a company you currently do or could work with and purchasing is not aware of it?



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teaks

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 04:23 PM

We have a few ingredients here that are purchased in small quantities, and likewise, no COA from the distributor.  Those ingredients go immediately on hold and we send the product out for independent COA testing.  It adds time and expense, but provides piece-of-mind.  Everyone here knows the drill, esp. our Purchasing Agent, so she tries to plan ahead knowing the ingredients will be quarantined upon arrival.



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Posted 19 June 2014 - 02:00 PM

If you have the facilities one way round would be to have a company specification for your raw materials that you give purchasing and say if no COA then you need QA to clear purchased goods prior to use:

 

Attached File  RMSP 001 Fruit Conserve Sample Plan_001.png   170.39KB   4 downloads

 

Attached File  RMSP 001 Fruit Conserve Sample Plan_002.png   74.57KB   3 downloads

 

And positive release incoming materials against your specification.

 

Regards,

 

Tony


Edited by Tony-C, 19 June 2014 - 02:03 PM.


fgjuadi

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 02:43 PM

We have a few ingredients here that are purchased in small quantities, and likewise, no COA from the distributor.  Those ingredients go immediately on hold and we send the product out for independent COA testing. 

 

If you have the facilities one way round would be to have a company specification for your raw materials that you give purchasing and say if no COA then you need QA to clear purchased goods prior to use:

And positive release incoming materials against your specification.

 

Regards,

 

Tony

That document scheme is beautiful - I like that layout a lot, it looks lilke professional design.

 

I am working towards making this our policy, but it becomes a problem with heavy cream and butter. The micro results take 5-7 days, plus a day to get it sampled /shipped. We order weekly in tiny amounts (200 lbs here, 150lbs there).  By the time we take it off of hold it ends up expired / only useable for a few days.  This works for resturants who don't need COAs but it's not working for us - the distributor can't guarantee fresher butter/longer shelf life, and direct manufactureres have minimum orders ten times the size of our average order.  To make matters worse, the drought here is causing local creameries to not accept new cutsomers becuase cows here are hungry :( I've put us on waiting listts for those vendors, but their minimums are too high -750lbs, 1000 lbs (Maybe by the time there's milk to sell we'll be making that much!).  Logistically we can't store it, and production wouldn't be able to use it before it expires.

 

Also, the cultural issue - Once purchasing realizes it's "okay" to not test butter & heavy cream, the most pathogen-harborin' ingredient we got, it weakens the intergrity of the program, and now they are ordering whateves, becuase senior management will take it off of hold when we need it rather than eat the cost fo 200 lbs of butter and a lost customer from not filling orders. 

 

I didi try the vendors mentioned above, thanks for those guys!  One is too far away and the other doesn't have dairy available in our area


Edited by magenta_majors, 19 June 2014 - 02:43 PM.

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 02:52 PM

That document scheme is beautiful - I like that layout a lot, it looks like a professional design.

 

Thank you, it is the scheme we use on all the IFSQN Food Safety Implementation Packages

 

Are you able to buy frozen or freeze the butter? that way you can order bigger quantities and have less sampling to do as well.

 

Regards,

 

Tony



RG3

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Posted 15 September 2014 - 08:17 PM

Hi Magenta,

 

 I don't know if it's too late but we used Land O Lakes for the butter and they were able to provide a COA and we have used Morningstar for heavy cream and it was a struggle to get a COA but they are capable.

 

 As far as making a MASTER LIST of suppliers who can provide COA's, I think the people in the forum are your best assets. Procurement needs to be 100% behind you.



fgjuadi

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Posted 16 September 2014 - 02:38 PM

Hi Magenta,

 

 I don't know if it's too late

Well, I had a saga with our dairy supplier.

 

Upper management pressured Purchasing to get COAs.

Purchasing pressured our dairy supplier.

Our dairy supplier came up with COAs, which had parameters like

         "ATP = Negative" (For finished product DAIRY. On the COA). 

They came back with "spec sheets" that were blank specs, with all parameters "N/A".

They figured I would see the file names and never click on them I guess? 

 

So I rejected it.  This went one for some time, causing a lot of strife and tension in the factory.  Employees felt bad about using it, purchasing thought I was an unpleasable (Ed note: that's a cromulent word) jerk, I felt bad that there was no butter, and our accountants felt bad that I was threatening to hold one of our big ingredients. 

 

Then, news of them storing milk for the sick & young in outdoor, uncontrolled storage sheds for YEARS broke again, and my upper management read it.  I explained that this was the same location that delivered our milk, and showed him the outrageous documents they had been giving me.

 

Our upper management set up several meetings with our supplier, one manager up the chain at a time, until he could find someone at the company who understood what a COA was and why it's not acceptable to keep sending me the bullshit ones.  It took him 3 meetings, but he got to the district manager, who was finally keyed into the conversation.  My upper management cares about the plant's food safety and is wiling to dedicate time to it (money is another story).

 

The next delivery, I got a REAL COA, with REAL parameters, and they've been coming ever since.  I don't know what happened.  Maybe the supplier got a new QA Manager.  Maybe my complaining made a difference to the huge company and they changed (ha!).  Maybe they're doctoring "better looking" COAs now.  I sent a sample of each product to 3rd party lab for annual COA analysis and it came correct like 50 Cent.   So we aren't dying for a new supplier yet.  But my ears are open.


Edited by magenta_majors, 16 September 2014 - 02:40 PM.

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