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Commodity Chain Analysis of Baby Formula Research Paper

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Updated: Dec 6th, 2019

Importance of Baby Formula

It goes without saying that breast milk is the best option for babies. Nevertheless, sometimes there is no such an opportunity and another way out should be taken. The modern world constantly develops in all the aspects. Nowadays, we are presented such an innovation as Baby Formula. Baby formula has a great use to replace the breast milk for infants.

Most infants at this age do not have proper breast-feeding as recommended as the mothers may be involved in other activities such as work, which creates the distance factor that makes breast-feeding rather cumbersome and impossible.

The next reason could be if the mother is HIV-positive and since it can be transmitted from one person to another through the bodily fluids such as the breast milk, the doctor advices the mother to completely refrain the child from breast-feeding and rather adopt the use of the baby formula.

There are several reasons why most of the parents prefer for their infant to take baby formula. A HIV-positive mother who has not taken up treatment should not breast-feed the child and hence will conveniently replace it with baby formula. The baby formula that is suitable for such a patient for their infant is that they get the nutrients they deserve from the formula (Frisch 1965).

Infants whose mother is under the treatment of strong drugs can also use baby formula. An infant may also use the baby formula when the practitioner simply discourages the mother from breast-feeding.

The practitioner put the infant on the formula as the mother finishes or completes her treatment until they are off the treatment and hence the breast milk is the best form of feeding for a growing baby (Mooij 2010).

The baby formula can supplement the breast milk in most cases where the mother does not produce enough breast milk for the infant’s consumption. It is necessary that this should not completely replace breast-feeding, as the child at this stage in their life will require the antibodies form the breast milk. Production of the baby formula is normally where there is an industrial area.

This area is mostly uninhabited and this means that the settlement there is very scarce and the few residents who live around there may not frequently purchase the baby formula. What is necessary in such a situation is that there is an elaborate transportation system so that it can get to the target market. During production, the baby formula is prepared and packed into a plastic bag or in a metallic container.

The distribution of the baby formula should not be tasking and at the same time, it is not smooth sailing. The baby formula has to reach the consumers from where its area of manufacture. This form of baby formula is necessary in ensuring that it is dry and it is not moist, which would have ended up in a situation where all the necessary vitamins and mineral would be lost.

Transportation of the baby formula is through various means of transport. Some may have them moved inside a container. It is possible to move the product from its point of production to the point of sale to the customers. Hygiene is paramount and one should never compromise it.

Consumption is the process by which the customer acquires the baby formula at a certain fee and they get to enjoy the baby formula in all aspects. Some people as creameries and as a society use the baby formula. There are customers who prefer baby formula but it is mostly for children who will require that it be mixed with warm water in a drinking bottle for the child.

Environmental Consequences

There are environmental consequences that arise from the use of the baby formula. The first one that may be rather obvious is that the bottles for use in the feeding of the infant may have labels or come packed in paper covers or cartons.

These greatly contribute to the trash that is released to the environment. This also goes for the containers that hold the baby formula; they may come in metallic containers or simply may come in a paper container.

Once the baby formula has been used, the packaging is discarded and this may considerably cause an increase in the pollution of the environment. Most people do not recycle or reuse this materials and we find ourselves in an environmental predicament where there is too much waste.

For the preparation of the baby formula, water is required to make the solution and this demands at least one liter of water for each infant on a daily basis. This notwithstanding, there is water which is required to boil the feeding bottle in as a method of sterilizing, there is water required to wash the bottle and water required to rinse them.

This water would have been conserved and used for other purposes if the infant was breast-feeding instead of talking the baby formula. In some developing countries, some families use fire wood as their main source of heat and this is what will be used to boil the water required to mix the solution of the baby formula and also the same firewood will be used to boil the bottle so that it is sterilized (South-Paul 2011).

Labor Conditions Under Which The Commodity Is Produced

The labor conditions under which the production of baby formula is carried through are rather questionable and sometimes not as appealing as the product itself.

The countries which are involved in the production of this baby formula will target the population of the developing countries since they are less exposed and hence will not demand high pay which in the case of the manufacturers translates to a higher profit.

The manufacturers of the baby formula will strive to engage the people of the developing countries as they are more in number hence translating to a larger labor force. This is due to the fact that many people lack the skill and the people are willing to work in any condition to earn a living.

The employees sometimes are paid daily in the sense that they are not guaranteed of a job the next day. The manufacturers do this to avoid a permanent worker who will demand benefits and since the labor force is substantially large, the manufacturers are not worried of any shortage (Marthinsen 2008).

The workers are also exposed to working for long hours without the adequate pay to compensate for the same hours. This is also seen as a serious case of exploitation of the man-power. Even if the employees realize this they do not complain in fear of loosing their jobs.

They are also exposed to the various chemicals that are used in the production of the baby formula since they are not given proper protective clothing. The proper clothing may be provided but it may also be worn out and may not serve the purpose. The workers are hence exposed to hazardous elements which may affect their health (Schmitz 2005).

Health Effects from Toxic Chemicals

There are companies that agreed they have been using toxic chemicals according to an environmental working group that carried out the research.

It came to the attention of the researchers and scientists that the makers or creators of Nestle, Enfamil, and Similac who make the branded baby formula use the toxic chemical in lining their cans. Major outlets such as Target, Wal-Mart, and Kroger sell such cans.

This form of toxic chemical is in great use and the companies should consider other safety packaging techniques that will not give people the speculation that no baby formulas are fit for consumption (Woodrow 2010).

The chemical responsible for making the baby formula may at times interfere with the respiratory system of an individual and if an individual has exposure to this kind of environment for a while without the necessary nose cover, they may end up developing serious respiratory conditions.

An infant can acquire serious cases of diarrhea or even pneumonia if the bottles used to feed the infant with the baby formula are not properly cleaned and sterilized. This also goes for all other materials used for the preparation of the milk.

The water for use in making the solution of the baby formula should be boiled, stored in a cool place, and covered to prevent entry of foreign material.

The container, which will hold this water, must also be clean as it can serve as a main contributor to transmitting diseases. This is one of the major risks involved when an infant it to feed on the baby formula (Mackay 1997).

Effects of Production to the People

Baby formula is not cheap and may not be favorable to the financial status of some people. Most couples have to include the purchase of the baby formula in the planning of a new baby and if their budget exceeds what they had expected they mostly choose to forgo the child and continue with the struggles of life.

This has set a default for most mothers in most parts of the world automatically to turn to breast-feeding as a way of cutting the cost through the preferential list.

In some countries, women are not supposed to breast-feed their children in an open area where there are many people. However, most mothers are appealing to such governments to allow them to breast feed the child in whatever situation they want (Smart 2010).

Socialistic feminism has been one of the factors that contributed to the manufacture of the baby formulas. Most women were going through the revolution, where they were getting out of the shell so that they can do activities, which they were previously not supposed to do due to their gender.

To some extent, these kinds of women grew to abhor the act of breast-feeding which constantly reminded them of their role as a wife who should stay at home. The women may have found the baby formula to work well for them as it freed them from all the journeys and discomforts of traveling long distances (Zylstra 2006).

Works Cited

Frisch, R. Theory of Production. Oslo: Memorandum Fra Universititetets, 1965.

Mackay, Hugh. Consumption and Everyday Life. Keynes: The Open University, 1997.

Marthinsen, John. Managing In a Global Economy: Demystifying International Macroeconomics. Mason: Thomson Higher Education, 2008.

Mooij, Marieke. Global Marketing and Advertising: Understanding Cultural Paradoxes. California: SAGE Publication, Inc, 2010.

Schmitz, Hubert. Value Chain Analysis for Policy-Makers and Practitioners. Tottenham: International Labour Organization, 2005.

Smart, Barry. Consumer Society: Critical Issues and Environmental Consequences. London: SAGE Publications Ltd, 2010

South-Paul, Jeannette. Current Diagnosis & Treatment in Family Medicine. New York: The Mc-Graw Hill Company, 2011

Woodrow, Ruth. Essential of Pharmacology for Health Occupations. New York: Cengage Learning, 2010.

Zylstra, Kirk. Lean Distribution: Applying Lean Manufacturing to Distribution. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc, 2006.

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