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Trust factor: How an American company pioneered product transparency

Amway’s enduring commitment to transparency and sustainability is a trust-building model. Read the full story on

When it comes to a company’s commitment to transparency, few things can rival a continuous, publicly accessible live stream of a farm that grows its crops.

But here it is: Trout Lake West Farm, 401 acres nestled in an organic valley in the Cascade Mountains of Washington State. This unique oceanic, alpine climate supports the growth of echinacea, blueberry and valerian, which, among other plants, are transformed into one of the most trusted and popular brands of health supplements.

This is where Nutrilite is grown, and the live stream may not be the most surprising business practice (more on that later).

In an era of cynicism, where trust in brands and institutions dwindles every day, consumers can visit a website showcasing Nutrilite’s traceability, allowing them to follow a “chain of custody” process from seed to supplement.

It is the latest step in a decades-long effort by Amway, the Nutrilite brand’s parent company and health and wellness leader, to puncture the prevailing skepticism and demonstrate the essential ingredients to gaining public trust.

Traceability (and trust) starts here

Traceability and sustainability are prominent buzzwords in today’s corporate lexicon — phrases that can mean anything (or nothing) depending on the underlying actions.

In concept, traceability goes beyond mere product labeling to reassure consumers of a product’s safety and effectiveness. In a world dominated by complex global supply chains, how can customers find a product’s ingredients, understand the reason for their inclusion, know their origin and how they were produced?

These are details true traceability provides. And in a vast corporate landscape where companies are racing to embrace these values, Amway stands apart.

While many brands trace only a single aspect of product creation, such as key ingredient origins, Amway leaders have made the decision to publicly trace every stage of their products’ life cycle — from concept to formulation to manufacturing to packaging.

Essentially, this health and wellness company is inviting consumers to become company insiders, offering an unvarnished look at its manufacturing process.

“Amway Independent Business Owners are trusted by their customers — people they know, to whom they provide direct service and build lasting relationships. It’s essential that our products have the same level of trust and transparency. That’s why we’ve embraced traceability from the very beginning,” said Andrew Schmidt, Amway’s managing director of Amway North America and an executive sponsor of the company’s sustainability initiative.

Read the full story here.