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Seven Seas to outsource manufacturing as volumes decline

By Shane Starling , 19-Oct-2012

Food supplements maker Seven Seas will outsource manufacturing for the first time after initiating moves to shut down its facility in Hull, northern England.

The closure may take 2-3 years to implement as discussions are entered into with different sections of the company’s 250-strong workforce, but the company’s indication is that declining volumes across parts of its portfolio has doomed the site.

Parent Merck has offices in London where management, sales and marketing teams could move, with contract manufacturers already contacting the company to offer their services. Outsourcing manufacturing is a common practice among supplements manufacturers.

Seven Seas’ range includes omega-3s, glucosamine, herbal extracts and vitamins and minerals formulated into 17 different lines. The UK is its biggest market followed by Greece, Turkey and the Middle East and Africa and the Caribbean.

Regulatory problems, economy problems

Aside from feeling the impact of the Eurozone and global economic slowdown, the company has also fallen foul of the UK medicines regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), in 2011 requiring it pull two products it deemed unlicensed under the EU Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products Directive (THMPD).

Aside from employing outsourced manufacturers, the company is set to rationalise its offerings in the wake of such events.

Seven Seas managing director John Redman said in a statement:“We are not making this proposal lightly. It reflects the continuing difficult economic conditions that the company is facing. Seven Seas has been a leading health brand for 77 years and we have to take action now to ensure that it remains successful in the years ahead.”

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