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Trouble getting COA or COC

COA

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NutANDFruitFoodSafety

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 07:21 PM

Hello all -  I have a supplier that we purchase pasteurized cashews from. They are a large nut company that does the majority of their production in house, is very well respected in the industry, has an SQF audit for their multiple facilities, and does private label packing for some large companies. I am unable to get COAs or COCs for our pallet quantity orders from them due to non response from their QA people. I believe they are so busy and I deal with sales personnel that it is simply lost in the jumble of work for them. My questions is, is there a way to get a generic COC statement from them as opposed to COCs or COAs per lot? Or is there another way to do this. Thank you in advance.



NutANDFruitFoodSafety

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 07:31 PM

As a follow up - I am aware that this has been asked many times before with the normal answer being to get a Letter of Guarantee. I am specifically asking if anyone has asked for a general COC that covers the whole year. 



olenazh

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 07:31 PM

Some kind of Cont. LOG, like the attached?

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Scampi

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 07:59 PM

You keep getting referred to a LoG because, that is actually what you are asking for. 

 

You cannot issue a letter of conformity  for the year, too many moving factors (plus they are on the hook legally if you test and find above acceptance levels on something)

 

So, either let your buyer deal with them, ask for an LoG  or remove them as a supplier


Please stop referring to me as Sir/sirs


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billbrochin

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Posted 14 April 2021 - 07:57 PM

It sounds easy, but in reality, it's difficult.  Go to your Purchasing people and the highest ranking person in your building and let them know that as of XX date, no shipments will accepted without the appropriate documentation you require.  It will be tense at first, but once they realize you mean what you say and refuse to release incoming goods, they will start to come around.  Pretty soon it will become second nature to Purchasing to get the CoA, etc. that you won't have to worry about it any more.  Sometime, you can get Purchasing to put it on the P O that CoA are required with each shipment.  Just be careful in how hard you push.



kingstudruler1

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Posted 14 April 2021 - 09:55 PM

Im sure ill get roasted by someone, but here I go.  

 

Why are we still using COAs, LOGs, GOAs, etc?    History has proven that there are numerous companies out there that are willing to provide documents and still provide contaminated / substandard product.   I've had recalled product in my warehouse where the supplier "stood by the results on the coa".  No one is going to provide one of these documents indicating an issue.   What are you gaining?   I stopped the practice years ago - there are much better uses of time.   IMO

 

Tommy Boy

Hey, if you want me to take a dump in a box and mark it guaranteed, I will.  I got spare time. 



pHruit

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Posted 15 April 2021 - 07:53 AM

Im sure ill get roasted by someone, but here I go.  

 

Why are we still using COAs, LOGs, GOAs, etc?    History has proven that there are numerous companies out there that are willing to provide documents and still provide contaminated / substandard product.   I've had recalled product in my warehouse where the supplier "stood by the results on the coa".  No one is going to provide one of these documents indicating an issue.   What are you gaining?   I stopped the practice years ago - there are much better uses of time.   IMO

 

Tommy Boy

Hey, if you want me to take a dump in a box and mark it guaranteed, I will.  I got spare time. 

I've had the misfortune of working with some suppliers who were so inept they didn't notice that their own CoA showed their product was significantly out of spec. Happened multiple times, always the same response: "It's a typo". We analyse the product and their CoA is right - they might be incompetent at manufacturing, but at least their lab people can perform basic measurements...

 

Also had the reverse where customers have asked us to basically lie on a CoA/CoC to show something untrue, because they'd forgotten to tell us about a very specific requirement until after approving, ordering, and accepting a raw material, but didn't want to change their labelling.

 

I agree with you that these types of document are open to abuse, but then so are virtually all documents - one can bribe an auditor/cert body, write a magnificient HACCP plan that has no bearing on operational activities because nobody follows it, make a spec that details all sorts of wonderful regulatory compliance without having the basis to do so, have staff that are so poorly trained they will literally sit infront of a "this site is nut free" sign while stuffing their faces with a large bag of mixed nuts etc. If you work in the industry long enough you'll potentially end up seeing all of these and more :thumbdown:

 

As I see it, it's about putting together a combination of sensible checks, to build the most robust position that one reasonably can. I want to see CoAs/CoCs (LoGs don't seem to be so much of a thing on this side of the pond), but I want to also have proper assessment and approval of the suppliers in place, and monitor ongoing performance. If the product doesn't match the CoC/CoA then it's a useful flag that a supplier requires further attention. If it keeps happening then you know that the supplier needs to be delisted / take your senior buyers out for an agreeable meal with lots of wine and you can then continue business as normal. (Delete as applicable, depending on the nature of your employer...).



Scampi

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Posted 15 April 2021 - 11:11 AM

Im sure ill get roasted by someone, but here I go.  

 

Why are we still using COAs, LOGs, GOAs, etc?    History has proven that there are numerous companies out there that are willing to provide documents and still provide contaminated / substandard product.   I've had recalled product in my warehouse where the supplier "stood by the results on the coa".  No one is going to provide one of these documents indicating an issue.   What are you gaining?   I stopped the practice years ago - there are much better uses of time.   IMO

 

Tommy Boy

Hey, if you want me to take a dump in a box and mark it guaranteed, I will.  I got spare time. 

 

So the only roast you'll get from me is the following:   what are you providing as an alternative?  You cannot just perform a risk assessment out of thin air?  And the entire food supply chain cannot afford to spontaneously start testing finished goods, there is not enough lab space or money to make that true, no matter how correct you are!

 

When I was in cannabis, we had paid HUGE $$$$ for extract that they claimed to be off the charts for potency--owners who only know business, made the deal --iron clad, absolved the seller of any responsibility--potency was 1/2 of the declared CoA---from a certified lab!     So i totally understand you're point, but you've offered no alternative


Please stop referring to me as Sir/sirs


TimG

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Posted 15 April 2021 - 04:55 PM

Hello Nut!

"is there another way to do this"

Kind of depends on how much hardball you want to play.

  • How does your receiving program look?
    • Are you supposed to verify a passing CoA or view a lot# labeled CoC with each received lot? Should this change if you dont?
  • ​What does the contract state the supplier must provide? (most purchasing doesn't want to share this with quality, you might have to lean a bit)
    • ​Does it say they need to provide the documents you keep not being provided?
  • ​What happens if you begin refusing lots at the door and turning them around to the supplier?
    • ​Can you warn their QC department or your purchasing guys that this is the stance you will have to take if you can't consistently get the documentation you need?

​Ultimately, your MAIN goal is to keep people from getting sick (and/or dying). Are you confident an annually issued blanket CoC statement would allow you to continue to achieve your main goal?



kingstudruler1

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Posted 15 April 2021 - 04:57 PM

So the only roast you'll get from me is the following:   what are you providing as an alternative?  You cannot just perform a risk assessment out of thin air?  And the entire food supply chain cannot afford to spontaneously start testing finished goods, there is not enough lab space or money to make that true, no matter how correct you are!

 

When I was in cannabis, we had paid HUGE $$$$ for extract that they claimed to be off the charts for potency--owners who only know business, made the deal --iron clad, absolved the seller of any responsibility--potency was 1/2 of the declared CoA---from a certified lab!     So i totally understand you're point, but you've offered no alternative

ya your right.   I didn't.  my bad

 

I do believe you can and should assess risk of every raw material and supplier in terms of the safety and quality risk they pose to your product.   once you have done that you can determine the method of control.   

 

In the case of cashews.   They are pasteurized and SQF certified which means they should have evaluated the known risks and are controlling them.   The SQF cert takes the place of a coa in my opinion.   in that - they should have a specification they are producing to that spec, and are taking corrective actions when deviations occur.   it provides as much assurance as a COA to me.  

 

if you want further assurances you could incorporate 

visual inspection - cheap and easy

organoleptic inspection - also cheap and easy

3rd party pathogen testing  either routine or random ($200)

maybe random mycotoxin testing - $500

I don't think you would need to the third-party testing everytime but set up a schedule of some kind.   


Edited by kingstudruler1, 15 April 2021 - 05:02 PM.






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