En route to recovery, supply chain continuity, transparent operations and sustainability are key

Aker BioMarine shares its best practices in the krill oil industry

Health is at the forefront of consumer consciousness like never before and wellness is increasingly recognised as a precious commodity that requires maintenance and care, forcing consumers to make healthier choices. There is no question that nutritional supplements naturally come into play. In fact, according to a GlobalData survey in June 2020, 23% of global consumers admit that they’ve stockpiled more vitamins and supplements in recent times.

And although health and wellness are important, the nutraceuticals industry has also seen greater consumer interest in the sustainability and traceability of its products, which have become just as significant as the health benefits of the nutritional supplement itself.

Consumers want to know from where the ingredient is sourced, how it’s caught, where it’s transported to and how it’s processed. At the same time, the escalating issues regarding global supply chains are becoming more apparent.

Aker BioMarine, a global biotech innovator and a leader in the krill oil industry, is on a mission to improve human and planetary health. And, during these challenging times, the company is working closely with its customers to ensure that krill oil is top of mind.

“As a globally operating company that’s reliant on a crew at sea in Antarctica, we are constantly adapting,” say Matts Johansen, CEO of Aker BioMarine. “When the pandemic first hit, we faced a completely new and unexpected situation; but, given our full control of our supply chain and our team of experts across the world, we were able, and continue, to push ahead and deliver krill oil to our customers in the most efficient and sustainable way.”

Continuity of supply

With growing concern about global supply chain issues, vertical integration is an important part of the conversation. As a fully vertically integrated krill supplier, Aker BioMarine has full control of its supply chain, with complete oversight of its operations from catch to delivery. This has given the company a competitive edge during these challenging times.

“Throughout the pandemic, we have prepared many alternative solutions to help mitigate any risks that might affect our ability to deliver product to our customers,” says Azhar Akhtar, Director of Customer Care and Logistics, Aker BioMarine Antarctic.

“We have warehouses in key markets such as Europe, China, India and Australia, which has helped us to deliver krill oil to our customers as agreed. We proactively set preallocation tasks to secure space for our customers’ orders, giving us flexibility for other options in case there were major delays or cancellations. Finally, we developed close relationships with several suppliers and vendors to act as back-up resources as needed.”

Sustainable and transparent operations are a must

For nutraceuticals suppliers, it’s important to take responsibility for the precious natural resource on which their business may depend on. “It makes no sense to take something out of the ocean to improve our well-being if it simultaneously compromises the health of the ocean,” adds Johansen. “To protect the biomass of krill, we need to respect the limits set by the industry bodies … and this is much easier for us as a company as we control our entire supply chain.”

“Today’s consumers are not only concerned about the sustainability of the resources they are consuming, they want to understand the operational process from start to finish. With a world of information at our fingertips, preventing this access is not an option; it’s essential for suppliers of nutritional supplements to be an open book.”

As transparency and openness are the “new norm” in the supplement world, product traceability is increasingly essential. By prioritising traceability in an operation, a supplier should be able to trace each and every batch of their product directly back to its point of origin, which is important for customers and consumers alike.

Raising the bar for the industry

The pandemic has accelerated the rise of brands with a strong sense of purpose, placing society, planetary welfare and collaboration at the heart of recovery. COVID-19 has highlighted the huge role that businesses, governments and individual actions play if we all work toward similar goals, bringing about new solutions to the ever-changing challenges.

And there is no question that suppliers have a responsibility to raise the standards across the industry.

Sustainability, transparency and traceability are not only growing customer expectations, they should also serve as the new must-haves for all partners within the industry. By having ownership of your supply chain through vertical integration, there is greater control and oversight throughout the entire process.

The nutraceuticals market is continually evolving to meet the needs of consumers worldwide, and supplement makers should choose suppliers that help them stand out in the marketplace.

Some suppliers simply fill orders, whereas others create a common goal to drive success and innovation in the marketplace. It’s important to find a supplier who also serves as a partner to ensure that the highest quality ingredients are delivered to customers in the best way possible.

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