While the spotlight has often fallen on dietary supplement companies that are less than perfect, consumers and retailers are recognizing companies that have built their models on quality, transparency and sustainability. “Manufacturers doing things right are creating safe and beneficial products sustainably, and following ethical best practices,” says Shaheen Majeed, president worldwide at Sabinsa. "As we continue to do the right things and be transparent about it, consumers are accessing information made available by manufacturers.”
While ingredient suppliers were once hidden in the shadows of brands and manufacturers, social media and the internet have made them more visible. This works well for Sabinsa, as transparency, science and research have been instrumental in the company’s success. The New Jersey-based supplier, manufacturer and marketer of standardized herbal extracts was founded by Majeed’s Indian-born father, Muhammed Majeed, PhD. As a U.S.-educated industrial pharmacist who once worked at Pfizer, Dr. Majeed launched Sabinsa as a generic pharmaceuticals company. But when a major fraud and corruption scandal halted operations at the FDA’s generic drugs division, the company switched gears. Dr. Majeed started receiving requests for plant-based ingredients from India, and that line of business took off. Now, more than 30 years later, the company has created a vertically integrated system that starts with its farmers in India in order to control the quality and sustainable supply of its products, which include turmeric, Coleus forskohlii, black pepper and other popular ingredients. The company also supplies pre-, pro- and synbiotics, minerals and enzymes.
Companies that continue to transparently follow and champion best practices for their consumers, in addition to suppliers who continue to expand scientific knowledge, all help to advance the industry’s reputation while providing products to enhance people's health.
Not surprisingly, with Dr. Majeed's strong scientific background, the company’s reputation for quality is built on science, including state-of-the-art testing, investments in research to develop branded ingredients, and clinical studies on safety and efficacy. “Sabinsa’s curcumin brand, Curcumin C3 Complex, is an incredible story, today standing as the leading curcumin brand with the most clinical studies. The promise of that brand was to deliver 95% curcuminoids, each and every time, consistently, in a clean transparent manner,” says Majeed. “Today, with each batch of C3 Complex undergoing radio carbon testing to assure our customers that what they are getting is natural and not of synthetic origin, the brand is rewriting the story of curcumin and carrying forward this responsibility into the future."
Clinical studies emphasizing the safety and efficacy of any ingredient should be part of a brand's marketing strategy, says Majeed, who adds that the company also encourages its manufacturing partners to visit the Sabinsa farms and facilities in India. “An on-site audit does much to solidify the relationship between a supplier and a brand, and motivates them to convey sourcing efforts in their branding.” The company is also enthusiastic to share product information with consumers and manufacturers via its website, white papers, eGuides, videos, infographics and presentations at trade shows and conferences. “Consumers want to know where ingredients come from, and if they can trust them. This has been very good for companies like Sabinsa,” says Majeed.
These days, knowing where ingredients come from includes taking a closer look at labor and sustainability practices. Sabinsa’s strong commitment to plant-based ingredients has made sustainability a core company tenet. Aware of the vulnerability of crops, especially to weather and climate change, the company has bought land of its own in India, as well as contracting fair trade agreements with small land holding farmers. Additionally, the farmers they work with have been introduced to new agricultural technologies, irrigation systems and sustainable holistic agriculture methods. Sabinsa also improves these underdeveloped communities through schools and other means. “The company strongly believes it is essential that industry follows a self-regulation model to promote sustainable practices that safeguard raw material supply. Sabinsa has an extensive cultivation program focused on sustainable supply of high-quality raw materials that incorporate fair trade practices,” Majeed outlines.
Ultimately, Sabinsa notes that doing the right thing not only helps the business but helps the industry at large. In turn, this helps to change the overall focus on dietary supplements from what is not being done right, to all the positive benefits that the industry has to offer. “Companies that continue to follow and champion best practices, and communicate those to consumers, and suppliers who continue to expand the body of science, all help to advance the industry’s reputation.”
A passion for quality
Sabinsa brings supply-chain best practices to the forefront of the supplement industry.
Consumers want to know where ingredients come from, and if they can trust them. This has been very good for companies like Sabinsa.”
president worldwide at Sabinsa
Companies that continue to follow and champion best practices, and communicate those to consumers, and suppliers who continue to expand the body of science, all help to advance the industry’s reputation.”
president worldwide at Sabinsa
Connect with Sabinsa
Sabinsa is a proud partner of Inside the Bottle—a New Hope Network and Natural Products Insider initiative dedicated to supporting quality and transparency in the supplement industry.