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| 1 minute read

U.S. Formula Shortage- The Troubled Flip Side of Single Country Sourcing

Here in the U.S., the baby formula shortage is all the rage in the news. Moms like me are all over social media groups tagging and shouting out when they see the precious containers on the shelves when they are out and about. This article from NPR very nicely lays out why this shortage is happening for which a big component stems from a plant shut down (shout out here to the importance of third party audits to verify implementation of good manufacturing principles!!) 

I am particularly interested in the general lesson learned about the inherent dangers in moving production here to U.S. Over the last two years stemming from the pandemic shutdowns, we have been hearing that global supply chains are too risky. That if only we produced more here in U.S. we would not be in this predicament of bare shelves from the shockwaves of global supply chain discruptions. The baby food shortage highlights the fact that sourcing exclusively in U.S. poses its own risks as the loss of one single plant has caused so much chaos. Buyers need to think about the ramifications of consolidating suppliers and country locations.  There is clearly no one-size-fits-all solution, bringing headaches and fraught in supply chain risk resiliency.

Lovely says the formula shortage illustrates the pitfalls of believing that an entirely domestic supply chain is necessarily more secure. "Having one or two factories in the U.S. or suppliers in the U.S. is not a way to be resilient," she says. "In fact, it's a recipe for being vulnerable." Security comes from having a variety of suppliers — at home and in friendly foreign countries. In other words, don't put all your eggs in one basket, or all your baby formula in one bottle.