American Kratom Association Vendors - What is AKA-GMP Certification?
Why is this important for Kratom Vendors to have?
Imagine your favorite restaurant; you love it because of the atmosphere, the staff, and of course THE FOOD.
Now imagine if one day you found out the employees don’t wash their hands, they serve expired food, and pigs are running around freely in the kitchen.
You would probably think twice about eating there - right?
Thankfully, most customers of food establishments don’t have to worry about those kinds of conditions, because for restaurants to stay in business, they must pass all sorts of inspections and receive permits ensuring they are clean and safe.
Unfortunately in the Kratom world, there aren’t any laws put in place yet, so clean and safe practices aren’t “required” to sell the product.
The vendors who do not practice sanitary production are the ones who give Kratom a bad, or ‘sketchy’, reputation. This is why GMP is so important.
So, what is GMP Certification?
GMP stands for ‘Good Manufacturing Practices’. This list of standards was created by the American Kratom Association to establish a higher level of manufacturing processes for Kratom Vendors.
Fun Fact #1: Happy Hippo is one of only 30 Kratom vendors certified with GMP; out of thousands of vendors!
The outline of standards the vendor must follow is reviewed by an annual 3rd party audit [Our auditor is accredited by the American Kratom Association]
This outline includes:
- Standard Operating Procedures
- Recordkeeping, Adverse Event Reporting System and Recalls
- Marketing Practices
- State Regulations
One could read through the entire document themselves on the American Kratom Association Website - but we’ve summarized that information for our readers below
Standard Operating Procedures
- Personnel: This states that every employee hired by Happy Hippo must practice good hygiene, have a good understanding of procedures to prevent microbial contamination from sick or infected personnel, and must be well trained on how to package Kratom correctly and safely. There must be documentation proving the employee went through this training.
- Manufacturing Facility and Equipment: This confirms that the work area is clean and safe for all our Hippos to work in. Constant cleaning and sanitation of equipment is a must and our Production Hippos take pride in doing this!
- Manufacturing Operations: Our Production Hippos are in charge of making sure that every batch of Kratom that we deal with goes through a 5 step process, all while documenting it for our records.
The 5 Steps are:
- Receiving Material
- Storage and Sale
A photo of our Production Room - Est. July 2019. This is where the magic happens!
When the product is first delivered to us, we always check that it has been cleared and tested for any yucky materials! (heavy metals, contaminants, synthetic drugs)
Fun Fact #2: Normal requirements for Kratom testing is a minimum of 10% of the batch - we always test more than 10%, and we do that with every batch!
- Generally: If any of our customers think their batch is a little ‘off’, we usually ask for the lot number. We then go to our storage of all our past made batches (up to 2 years old) and we match that number with a sample we have of the same lot. Then, that sample gets shipped off for more rounds of testing!
- Master Manufacturing Records: This is a record we follow for each unique formulation of Kratom to ensure uniformity. In this paperwork we track the weights of all the filled bags, we ensure all the bags are new and clean, labeled correctly, and that our Production Hippos have an easy checklist of steps to go through when filling bags.
- Traceability: Double verification is needed for production of every product to be complete; we have a Hippo Packer sign off followed by our Quality Control Manager signing off as well.
Adverse Event Reporting System and Recalls
Whenever a customer reports that they have gotten sick from our Kratom, we don’t turn a blind eye like some other vendors may do. We go through a protocol and ask the questions needed, submit a report and do another series of tests on that Kratom batch.
We also are required to have a Recall Procedure in place for any Kratom recalls.
Our Hippo customers must understand that we cannot make medical claims.
Our packaging must reflect all disclaimers and notice, some examples stated below:
- Kratom is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or condition; and our packaging clearly states that.
- We are not allowed to give a specific serving for anyone - although we can recommend where to start
- No pregnant Hippo’s should be using Kratom!
- Batch numbers and labels are required on every package we sell
As of June 2020, the state of Utah is the only state currently issuing a regulatory rule regarding passage of the Kratom Consumer Protection Act.
Here are many photos from our Production - it is rare you will see a Kratom packaging facility this clean!
In conclusion, we can assure all our customers that we are not named Happy Hippo because we have wild hippos running around the production room.
Any individual who wants to purchase quality, up-to-standard Kratom - is safe doing so with us
Happy Hippo LLC takes pride in being GMP certified - we are going on 2.5+ years now!