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COMMERCIAL MANAGEMENT AND SUPPLY CHAIN

Our product range

Viscofan offers the widest range of casing solutions for cold meat production. Each one of our casings is developed to reduce time and eliminate production stages, allowing substantial saving, and fostering the production of new products and appliances (different cold meats, such as mortadellas, frankfurts, minisnacks, salamis, etc.).

Viscofan offers customers a Technical Support service, which is a competitive advantage and of great help to customers when deciding, from the wide range of casings, which one is adequate for the needs of each product. This work is especially important because our customers do not increasingly divide by technology, but rather use various technologies for different products, depending on the degree of sophistication of the meat processor

THE POSITION OF VISCOFAN AS “THE CASING COMPANY” SAVES COSTS AND FACILITATES INTERACTION WITH MEAT PROCESSORS, WHO DECIDE TO USE TECHNOLOGY ACCORDING TO PRODUCT SPECIFICATIONS. 

In this sense, there are no customers for each technology, but instead total sales to customers buying products in all our technologies is close to 55% of the Group’s revenue. This is a growing trend according to the sophistication of meat processors. 

Brands

The Viscofan Group carries out its commercial activity through different commercial brands, especially: Viscofan-The Casing Company®, Viscofan Bioengineering®, Naturin®, Vector®, NanopackTechnology and Packaging®, Supralon® and recently added Collinstant® (in Bioengineering) and Edicurve® and Efidry® (in the area of products).

Quality, service and food safety

The Viscofan Group places the customer at the centre of its operational decisions, continuously trying to provide him with the best value proposition in order to strengthen efficiency and have a greater diversification in the product, while maintaining strict quality and food safety controls.

In this respect, Viscofan has the largest commercial network in the industry and the level of service of its technicians is widely recognised throughout the market. As customized casing experts, we are the only company of the sector offering a global and integrated service to our customers, so we can offer the casing alternative that better suits customer’s needs.

IN A CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT MODEL, THROUGH MULTIDISCIPLINARY TEAMS REPRESENTING SALES, PRODUCTION, AND RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT AREAS, THE VISCOFAN GROUP IDENTIFIES THE ISSUES THAT CAUSE MOST CONCERN TO THE MEAT INDUSTRY AND ANALYSES, DEVELOPS AND IMPLEMENTS THE RELATED IMPROVEMENTS.

Maintaining our leadership position in the global market in an environment as dynamic as the current one would be impossible without Viscofan’s excellent level of service and diversification; as a result of our presence in 16 countries, serving more than 1,700 customers in 100 different countries.

The Group’s global exposure has been recognised in different occasions. Viscofan received, among others, the Aster award to its business life in 2013, granted by ESIC (Business and Marketing School), the Award for a trajectory of Internationalisation was granted to Viscofan by the Business Circle, along with Wharton University of Pennsylvania; and the export award granted by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Navarre.

The Supply Chain department has the purpose of improving the service to our customers and optimising working capital. In order to achieve these objectives, initiatives have been launched to improve and standardise management tools in the supply chain in order to comply with the standards set by different customers. The coordination of the different corporate teams has also been enhanced, in an attempt to simplify the number of contacts between the orders and the claims processes, taking advantage of a single scale in the casings market, which helps to speed up management and improve our customer service.

Communication channels with our customers.

Our proposal to create value is supported by a fluid channel of communication and relationship with our customers, mainly through:

1.- Seminar and events organised by Viscofan 2.- Technical Service 3.- Customer Service 4.-  Active participation in sector trade fairs, especially in the IFFA in Germany, the biggest world fair of the food sector, which takes place every three years in Frankfort, and the last edition of which took place in 2016 5.- Visits to customers 6.-  Local presence of the company itself or through agents and distributors 7.-  Access to own extranet (Visnet) accessible at www. viscofan.com

Labelling of products and services

The Code of Conduct of the Viscofan Group establishes that “relationships with customers will be based on respect and transparency”.

On the basis of this principle, the Viscofan Group provides the specifications of its products and services in the labelling of its products in accordance with the defined labelling process, and complying with the requirements of legal rules on this matter.

Commercial messages fall within principles of transparency and veracity where no subjective comparisons are made nor is information given when it conflicts with third party rights. These action policies extend to all geographical areas where the Viscofan Group has a commercial presence.

In 2017 no cases of non-compliance have been detected with regard to marketing communications, nor have there been any complaints on undue use of labelling information.


Suppliers

The Viscofan Group carries out its activities by transforming raw materials through a physical and chemical complex process to customized casings to meet customers’ specifications.

According to the technology used, different materials are required. The most important materials in our production process are high purity cellulose, hides, manila hemp and polyamides, along with auxiliary substances used for chemical transformation.

Each year the Viscofan Group allocates value to suppliers of goods and services. They are essential for casings production and they  are expected to be innovative and efficient, and for them to comply with legal and functional requirements and with the required ethical practices.

To this end, all suppliers of raw materials, packaging and maintenance must approve an internal accreditation procedure comprising an on-site auditing by the quality team of Viscofan, or the completion of a questionnaire. In both cases, among other matters, the following systems are assessed: quality management, food safety management (in the case of suppliers, of raw materials), safety and occupational health management, environmental management and human rights management.

Likewise, within its code of conduct, Viscofan rejects any form of child labour and a similar commitment is required for suppliers.

In this sense, from 2017 all companies that comprise the Viscofan Group started to fully accredit and examine human rights and environmental issues of new suppliers of raw materials and accreditation is expected to reach 100% for suppliers of raw materials by 2020.

For the production of collagen, the acquisition of animal hide (mainly cows) is required. In Europe this must comply with the European regulations of welfare of animals at the time of slaughter.

Communication channels with our suppliers

Communication with suppliers is carried out through meetings, attendance to fairs and different contact via telephone and mail.

Purchases on local suppliers
0,0%

Commitment with local suppliers

The activity of the Viscofan Group in the countries in which it operates is geared to value creation for all stakeholders, including local suppliers. In this sense, in 2017 74.4% of purchases in all the Group were focused on these suppliers.

Average payment period

In 2015 Law 31/2014 came into force, amending the Spanish Companies Act with a view to improving corporate governance. Under this law, companies unable to present abridged income statements must indicate in their management reports the average supplier payment period, calculated using the criteria approved by the Ministry of Finance and Public Administrations, in accordance with section three of the second final provision of Organic Law 2/2012 of 27 April on Budgetary Stability and Financial Sustainability.

In relation to this reporting requirement, the average payment period of the companies in the Viscofan Group in Spain in 2017 was 26 days (34 days in 2016) lower than the maximum under Spanish law.

The average payment period was calculated in accordance with the Resolution dated 29 January 2016, of the Spanish Accounting and Auditing Institute, on the information to be included in annual financial statements in relation to the average supplier payment period in commercial operations.

Also, note 18.3 of the annual consolidated financial statements shows the information on the average supplier payment period during the year.

Product safety and food hygiene from the supplier to the customer

One of the main purposes of casing is to protect the product that it contains. Processed meat is a basic food product for thousands of millions of people across the world. Viscofan, as leader of this sector, is highly aware of industry requirements to ensure that the production process and the end-product strictly comply with legal specifications and have passed suitable controls to achieve optimal quality and offer customers guaranteed safety and hygiene.

THE COMPANY’S COMMITMENT TO QUALITY AND FOOD HYGIENE TAKES THE FORM OF OUR MANDATORY PROCEDURES APPLIED THROUGHOUT THE PRODUCTION PROCESS AND INVOLVE STRINGENT WORKING PRACTICES THAT ARE AUDITED BOTH INTERNALLY AND EXTERNALLY.

This commitment starts by choosing the raw materials, both main ones (cellulose, collagen skin, manila hemp, polyamides and natural gas) and auxiliary substances, used for the chemical and mechanical transformation of raw materials throughout the productive process.

For such selection, the Viscofan Group sets an accreditation system of suppliers in order to comply with demanding quality, safety and cost requirements, and with the defence and respect of human rights, rejecting child labour. This system enables impartial and objective treatment in the selection processes for suppliers and contractors.

Aware of the strategic importance of an adequate supply of raw materials and services, the Viscofan Group commits with its suppliers and establishes relationships with them based on reciprocal contributions and mutual respect, founded on trust and quality of products and services.

On the other hand, to guarantee at all times the excellence of products and services, ensured for customers and for the final consumer, Viscofan has a product safety and food hygiene system that covers all of these aspects: manufacturing facilities are built to food safety specifications, employees are trained in food hygiene and product safety, raw materials are tested for compliance with specifications previously agreed with certified suppliers, systems are in place to detect defective materials in the production system, pest control is implemented and policies are in place to monitor hazardous substances, personal hygiene and visitors.

These protocols configuring our product safety and quality system are based on the following core principles:

1.  Hazard analysis and critical control point: Viscofan has a hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) system in place. The company formed an inter-disciplinary team that assesses every step of the production process to detect possible hazards (physical, chemical and microbiological pollution, including allergens), identify critical control points, establish relevant controls and take any required corrective action. The system is annually updated in line with any changes in the production process.

2.  Compliance with the applicable laws: Casings manufacturing is becoming more tightly regulated, in the area of food safety, by countries and supranational institutions, making up a growing and constantly changing battery of rules.

This regulatory framework directly affects the activity of different production plants due to laws in the country of origin and requirements in the receiving countries, and internationally recognised standards.

Given how complex this situation is, the Patents & Regulatory Affairs Division reinforces the compliance of our products with different food safety regulations. This division’s main functions are as follows:

 ● Monitoring food industry regulatory frameworks at a national and international level, especially any regulation concerning the casings sector, and ensuring said regulations are adopted and complied with internally.

 ● Review regulatory compliance in each of the production plants, coordination and establishment of action plans.

 ● Liaising with public agencies and trade associations related with the regulation of matters affecting the food and meat product casings industry.

3.  Product traceability and certification: Viscofan operates a product traceability system that enables us to identify, at any time and in full detail, the history of every unit and even sub-unit sold, from receipt of raw materials to product use by our customers. In Europe, Viscofan fully implements a food traceability system under Regulation (CE) 178/2002.

4.  Audit and certification: To ensure that our product safety and food hygiene systems comply with requirements, our production processes are audited internally on a regular basis. Our production facilities are also continuously audited by the health authorities, numerous customers and, as appropriate, certification authorities.

Viscofan has internationally developed certifications for meat processors to homologate new suppliers and commercialise their products in the main distribution chains around the world:

 ● ISO 9001. International quality management systems standard, based on the compliance of requirements on product and service. 

 ● BRC - Global Standard for Food Safety. The global standard for food safety is aimed at ensuring that suppliers comply with the requirements that guarantee the safety of food. 

 ● BRC/IoP - Global Standard For Packaging and Packaging Materials. This certification is aimed at producers of packages and materials in contact with food.

Underlying key aspects:

 ● Ensure food safety. Efficient and dynamic control of risks. 

 ● Compliance with applicable legislation in producing and receiving countries and with internationally recognised standards. 

 ● Reduction of costs of possible errors of any production chain. 

 ● Organised and efficient communication of all interested parties (internal, suppliers, customers, authorities). 

 ● Provide trust to customers/consumers.

Some communities also require compliance of specific regulations for products to ensure that they are suitable for the members of such communities. As a result, the Viscofan Group is certified Halal, which ensures compliance with the regulations of Islamic communities and certified Kosher, which is the requirement for food consumption among the Jewish community. 


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