West Caldwell, NJ—Vitaquest International, a “custom manufacturer” that creates and produces more than 4,000 custom formulas for more than 500 brands in 40 countries, recently invitedWholeFoodsto tour the NJ headquarters. Highlights of the day included an up-close look at Vitaquest’s facilities, all of which received FSSC 22000 Food Safety Certification from global certifying body DNV GL Business Assurance. As Vitaquest CEO Patrick Brueggman has explained, the company sought the certification because it is their mission to provide the highest levels of product safety in the nutraceuticals and functional foods market. “At Vitaquest, we want to lead our industry in the development and implementation of innovative, robust quality systems for consumer products,” he said when announcing the news. “We recognized that the nutraceutical industry is in a drive to enhance safety and build consumer trust, and realized it was time to become food safety system certified. FSSC 22000 is the most advanced food safety system regarding what people eat and that’s where we want to start.”

Vitaquest also is committed to sustainability at every level—from working with suppliers that care about environmental stewardship, sustainable harvesting and fair trade to using mostly corrugated packaging materials derived from 100% recycled content. Another point of pride: Vitaquest launched a 418.6 kilowatt solar energy system at corporate headquarters. As noted on www.Vitaquest.com, the 1,820-panel system produces enough energy to power over 35 average-sized residential homes every year, which is equivalent to recycling over 8 million cans of soda, planting 30,000 trees and taking 52 cars off the road every year. “Reduce” is also in effect at the headquarters, with small changes (like eliminating plastic water bottles and instead giving employees coffee mugs and reusable bottles) adding up to big benefits.

On the product side, Vitaquest aims to “deliver what’s next,” with in-house experts focusing on unique, effective, marketable formulations. Rick Handel, SVP of Commercial Operations, and Terry Coyle, VP of Product Development, talked trends withWholeFoods.One thing they see demand for: clean label. They noted that Vitaquest is continually working on new technologies to help customers meet clean-label goals, such as excipient-free. In terms of categories, they point to vision; cognition; bone & joint; sleep; beauty from within; and digestive health. They also call out the growing interesting in branded ingredients from suppliers, which come backed with quality standards and innovation.

What really helps any quality company thrive, of course, is the people. Vitaquest aims to empower all employees to excel in their jobs, and the #VITAQUESTPROUD initiative helps with that goal. PROUD stands for:Passion,Responsibility,Opportunity,Unity,Delivery, and the company rewards individuals and teams that deliver exceptional performances.