quality vs cost

Quality vs. Cost: Do You Get What You Pay For?

As consumers, the question we continually ask ourselves. Quality vs. Cost: Do You Get What You Pay For? If you’re like most people, you probably look for the best deal. Sometimes it’s okay to cut corners and go with cheaper brands to save a few bucks.

The Beginning

For years we produced our very popular organic honey soap bar. It was perfect for the delicate skin of infants and the aged. Also as a top-to-toe for those with sensitive skins, scalps and problem hair. We imported organic New Zealand Honey. The soap was well priced. Customers were happy with the Quality vs. Cost.

Early in 2017, we were hearing reports from New Zealand honey producers. They were saying there was more organic honey being exported from New Zealand than could possibly be produced from the number of hives. Then there were reports of crime gangs stealing hives in New Zealand.

At about the same time we heard a report of Malaysian officials. They realised that there were more Certificates of Origin (CoO) for Malaysian honey than the country could produce. Apparently, low-quality Chinese honey was being shipped through Malaysia.  These were with falsified CoO’s disguising that the honey originated from China. It is well known that much of this Chinese honey is of low quality, not organic, and often contaminated with heavy metals.

Next, the fake honey scandal in Australia hit the news. More recently, lab tests have revealed that almost twenty per cent of Australian honey samples were not pure . Also, these tests revealed that more than half the samples sourced from Asia, mainly China, were adulterated.

Quality vs. Cost: Do You Get What You Pay For?

By this time, alarm bells where ringing. At this stage, we had some New Zealand organic honey on order. As a scientist, I know what to look for in the Honey Certificate of Analysis (CoA) provided by the New Zealand supplier. With the latest CoA, there were issues. Therefore, I phoned the New Zealand lab responsible for the CoA and spoke to their Chief Analyst. I highlighted the certificate issues. As an experience analytical lab, they were well aware of the issues. And their response? “We are following our client’s instructions.” In other words, the client, our supplier, had asked them to falsify the CoA.

So, to answer the question. Quality vs. Cost: Do You Get What You Pay For? Very simply, in this case, the answer is no. Furthermore, there was the potential for the safety of Indochine Natural customers being compromised.

The Sad End of a Product Line.

Our immediate reactions? First, all of our current organic honey stock was re-tested. This included heavy metal testing. All results came back OK. Second, we made the decision to stop purchasing organic honey immediately. Luckily, we had sufficient organic honey stock to produce more organic honey soap. This stock is now finished, apart from a few odd bars on our factory retail outlet shelves.

Lessons

We have paid the price for adhering to our no-compromise quality standards. We have lost a good income stream. But this fits with the Indochine Natural DNA. In everything we do, we believe in challenging the status quo. We believe in thinking differently. The way we challenge the status quo is by making our products all natural, simple to use and user-friendly. We never compromise on product quality.

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Dr. Mike Thair

Master Formulator

Imdochine Natural Sdn Bhd

 

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