Vion Food Group quality policy

Basic principles for the VION quality policy
The Vion quality policy is defined and controlled by two basic principles:
1. the wishes and requirements of consumers and customers;
2. scientific knowledge of food safety, animal welfare and animal health.

The wishes and requirements of consumers and customers are translated into leading quality standards in which Vion participates actively, such as IFS, BRC, GlobalGAP, IKB, QS.

 

Applications
Vion’s application of quality assurance systems, standards, and audit and control systems is controlled along two lines:
- the contents of the actual system (HACCP certification for food safety, consumer acceptance, product integrity, animal welfare and animal health);
- management (transparent arrangements with the management as regards organisation structure, tasks, authorities and responsibilities resulting in efficient and effective business operations).

The aim of the Vion quality systems is also that people learn from each other and that there is continuous improvement. Quality assurance is firmly anchored within Vion by analysing the risks and sharing this information within the organisation. This also provides safeguards against the financial risks associated with quality.

 

Responsibility
Where food safety, product integrity, animal welfare and animal health are concerned, Vion is aware of its responsibility as a food producer. Vion leads the way specifically in matters of food safety and product integrity. Vion's expertise and knowledge have met with international acceptance, due in part to governmental endorsement. This has laid the foundations for the responsible and effective implementation of quality assurance systems in business with global market access.

 

Quality and control
Basically, there are four continuous processes that demonstrate that quality is controlled at Vion, day in, day out:
- The company's own verification processes. Monitoring is done on a decentralised basis, at each location, according to a fixed common protocol. The data obtained is stored in a central database. The different management levels (at corporate, business unit, location and even department levels) use these analyses to continuously improve their processes. The application of internal standards is assured by means of peer review systems. In other words: QA managers from other branches perform internal audits at their sister companies.
- External auditors. Accredited certifying bodies such as Lloyds and SGS perform audits and certify the Vion companies.
- Vion customers. Some Vion customers perform announced and unannounced checks and audits of the quality assurance systems in use at Vion. One of them is Tesco, which performs unannounced checks of the food safety system and of animal welfare assurance.
- In addition to the three market-controlled verification and audit systems identified above, Vion is also under constant government supervision. A veterinarian representing the national authorities is present during production in the companies that process meat and animal by-products. Vion also has a strong focus on exporting to countries outside the EU. This means that veterinarians representing other governments, like the USA, China, Russia and Australia, also visit the Vion production sites on a regular basis.

 

The audit activities
The audit activities of such internal and external authorities mainly consist of:
• analysing the company's own private quality assurance systems and specifically the hazard analysis performed by the company itself;
• identifying the critical points in the process;
• ensuring that the critical points in the company are controlled;
• checking for the presence of an effective system of corrective and preventative measures;
• evaluating the effectiveness of the quality assurance processes to determine whether they comply with requirements;
• checking that all quality data in the company is properly registered and reported.

The Vion quality assurance systems ensure that the critical processes in the company are controlled, that the quality of the process and the products are subject to continuous improvement and that, for internal control purposes, as well as for customers and the authorities, it can be demonstrated at all times that these processes are assured.

 

Relevance
Many Vion production sites have access to the global market, placing them in a unique position for customers who purchase products on the basis of equal quality specifications in all regions all over the world. Other aspects associated with the product, like ‘organic’ and higher animal welfare standards such as the Beter Leven quality mark in the Netherlands and the Tierschutzlabel in Germany, are marketed globally by Vion as well.

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