We sat down with Reliv Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Brett Hastings to discuss Reliv’s commitment to excellence and what sets Reliv apart.
Integrity is one of Reliv’s stated core values. How do you see integrity in action at Reliv?
In 26+ years of existence, Reliv has never had a claim against our product liability insurance — never. That’s downright remarkable when you think about the millions of cans that have rolled off our lines.
It all starts from the top and the ethical standards established by the people who started this company. Bob [Chairman and CEO Robert L. Montgomery] created a business model built on honesty, transparency and an uncompromising commitment to the success of our Distributors. Dr. Carl [Vice Chairman and Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Carl Hastings] developed industry-leading manufacturing practices to guarantee the quality, safety and potency of every product we produce. And Steve [Senior Vice President and General Counsel Stephen M. Merrick] established an ethical culture and legally compliant business practices so that we never deviate from our founding principles.
Their vision is carried out every day by an experienced and dedicated staff in all areas of the company — from Sales & Marketing to Manufacturing to our Compliance Department. We simply do not take shortcuts, even if it appears that doing so would increase company profits in the short term. We know that maintaining ethical standards is the key to long-term growth and stability.
What makes Reliv’s manufacturing practices so unique?
We are 100% dedicated to producing the safest, purest and most effective nutritional products available. In fact, our manufacturing standards exceed those of some of the strictest regulatory agencies in the world.
We follow a meticulous process for every single product that comes off our line — from selecting ingredients to shipping the finished product to you. And we test, test and re-test at every step along the way to virtually eliminate the possibility of error.
When we launched LunaRich C™ in Europe (LunaRich X™ in the U.S.) this October, for example, one of our quality control specialists noticed smudges on some of the labels when he was pulling samples. We immediately shut down production and our entire production team proceeded to unpack every box to check every single label for possible relabeling. And we still met the shipment deadline later that afternoon! No detail is too small.
When you open a Reliv product, you can rest assured that it contains exactly what’s printed on the label and that it will deliver the most advanced nutrition available today.
Explain how Reliv has ‘graduated’ from the Missouri Plant Science Center (MPSC)?
The MPSC is a unique collaboration of government, university and private partners coming together to foster innovation and serve as a business incubator. Soy Labs became the facility’s first tenant in 2011. It was at the MPSC where Dr. Alfredo Galvez and the Soy Labs team further developed lunasin technology in order to bring it to market in the form of LunaRich® from Reliv. In other words, the MPSC functioned exactly as it was designed to.
When Reliv acquired exclusive rights to LunaRich and Soy Labs became a Reliv company called SL Technology in June 2013, it was in our best interests to move on from the shared-use MPSC. LunaRich is now manufactured in a different facility, which is private and more secure, but the source of the raw materials (soybeans) has not changed, and neither has the actual manufacturing process. Reliv still maintains control over the process from seed to can, and the quality, safety and integrity of LunaRich continues to exceed industry standards.
SL Tech has moved research operations to a new lab as well, much closer to Reliv’s headquarters. This allows Dr. Galvez and Dr. Carl to work together more closely on new product development, as well as projects to validate the health benefits of Reliv’s current product line.
Reliv made a new addition to its own manufacturing facility. Can you tell us more about that?
With LunaRich X now one of our top-sellers, we have installed a new encapsulation line to keep up with demand and improve the manufacturing process for this product. The new line will allow us to better control production and ensure quality to an even greater degree for every LunaRich X bottle we produce. It will also aid with inventory control and costs, which benefits everyone.
The added flexibility will allow us to explore additional encapsulated product offerings as well. I can’t say we’ll ever offer any capsules other than LunaRich X, but we now have the capacity to do so easily if we identify a need.
What can we expect from Reliv manufacturing and operations moving forward?
Simple: the same uncompromising commitment to excellence that has defined the Reliv brand for the past 26+ years. What we do works, and we will continue to innovate and build on that to make sure it works for years to come.