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September 2019: Transparency


Every industry is talking about transparency. Internally and externally, companies are wrapping themselves in the cellophane cloak of open access to information.

Of course, that cellophane can get murky at times, and full transparency doesn’t always give the clearest view. One might call it “transparency lite,” or, as incubator/accelerator chief and former Megafood CEO Robert Craven describes it, “little t transparency” (see Craven’s Q&A on page 24). 

But the little t era needs to end. This is NBJ’s first Transparency Issue, and we put it together to continue the discussion on how to save transparency from buzzword status and give it meaning. How should transparency be defined? How deep should it go and who should the audience be?

Key issue takeaways: 

  • Transparency between brands and contract manufacturers often still needs improvement
  • Transparency about contract manufacturing rarely occurs between brands and consumers
  • Transparency on contract manufacturing is required by the FDA, but inspectors visit only a fraction of the contract manufacturers currently operating
  • Newer brands and less likely to audit or know what questions to ask