Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The China Question

Sorry we were gone for so long. We're back!

Many of our customers have been asking about candy products from China. Below are some facts I thought you'd like to know.

-There have been no known problems with Candy from China.

-Factories that our suppliers use are larger and more modern than many of the factories where the problems in other industries have occurred.

-The factories our suppliers use are in business for the long term. They would not likely do something (like adding an unapproved filler) because they know that awareness is up and if they were caught they would be out of business forever.

-Many of the factories are HAACP certified. This is a certification level set by the US Government that identifies potential problems and seeks to avoid or correct them. This is very common in other industries such as juice or canned food, but not candy. Many Chinese factories meet these standards - many US companies do not.

-Labor rates are much less in China than in the US or even Mexico.

-Sugar costs more in the US than anywhere else in the world due to price supports. This makes it less expensive to make the exact same item with the same equipment and same labor costs in Mexico than in the US. Thus, if you were to make a candy that requires lots of hand work/labor and lots of sugar, it will be cheaper in China than in the US.

-Our customers and end consumers require that cost is moderate and thus we see more pressure to manufacture outside the US. This is especially true this year when price increase have been at record levels.

NOW FOR THE BUSINESS NOTES: We cannot accept a return because something is made in China. If you'd like to know ahead of time what is made in China, we can let you know. However, once a product is shipped, it is yours.

By the way, it is not possible in today's world to avoid products from China. Go to any supermarket, grocery store, Wal-Mart, or Target and pick an aisle (not in clothing) and count the number of items from China. Chinese made goods are a fact of life. This is true in food, but it is also true in the cookware aisles and utensils that interact with food as well as the rest of the store.

Of course, we continue to have a huge number of items not made in Asia and can help you work through these concerns.