The Calbee Group thoroughly manages quality within all the processes involved in provision of products. These include the cultivation of potatoes, the main ingredient in many Calbee products, the development of storage technologies, the procurement and production of materials, and the presentation of products at points of sale. We are always working to further improve the level of quality in these processes.
Calbee Group's Quality Policy
We promote quality development from the customer's standpoint in an effort to continuously offer tasty, safe, and reasonably-priced products that earn the trust and satisfaction of our customers.
Quality Assurance Efforts
Implementing the Quality Assurance System
To offer safe products to customers, all Calbee employees follow our quality policy and cooperate with internal and external organizations and departmental business partners to ensure quality.
Our Quality Assurance Headquarters is made up of the Quality Review Department and the Quality Audit Department. The Quality Review Department examines standards and designs to prevent the risk of qualitative noncompliance. The Quality Audit Department conducts audits and supports improvements to ensure that the products are made as specified. In addition, the Headquarters continuously checks the effectiveness of the review and audit systems, referring to the results of plant inspections and customer feedback. All of our plants are committed to ensuring the safety of our products. For this reason, we follow the concepts of the food safety management system developed by the AIB (American Institute of Baking).
Quality Control of Raw Materials
At Calbee, our priority is to always provide our customers products with the best quality. We check the quality of potatoes, the main ingredient in our potato chips, in accordance with items specified for individual processes such as field cultivation, material storage, and production at plants. We have also established a unique system we operate for quality control. This system enters, gathers, and consolidates information about quality history and quality inspection results in a database by potato lots.
The quality control system acts as a traceability system. The results for items such as plant production quality are conveyed to the producers, who then utilize this information the following year to improve their crops.
Disclosure of information at production plants
Consumers' needs for food safety keep growing. Raw materials and production areas are two important factors that are also taken into consideration when choosing products. In 1973, Calbee became the first company in the snack industry to print the date of manufacture on packages. We keep our information transparent so that our customers feel safe when they eat Calbee products. Today our packages indicate the best-before date, plant-specific code, serial number, production line, and time of manufacture. The Quality Review Department follows the corresponding laws to ensure that the information indicated on our packages is correct.
Efforts to Ensure a Stable Supply
Cooperation with Producers in Quality Improvements
The weather conditions of any given year can affect the production quantity and quality of the potatoes used to make potato chips. For this reason, our contract farms in Hokkaido began efforts in 2011 under the guidance of the Scotland Agricultural College (SAC) to improve fertilization and minimize the effects of weather to ensure a stable supply of raw materials.
Strengthening Cooperation with Business Partners to Improve Quality
Calbee Group purchases the materials needed for business from contract farms and numerous other suppliers. We enlist the cooperation of distributors and retailers across Japan to market our products. We work together with our business partners to ensure the entire supply chain always provides safe products with the right quality.
The Calbee Group strives to deepen the mutual understanding we share with suppliers by organizing many opportunities to exchange information and opinions. One way in which we do this is through the Partnership Meeting held every year. Over the years this meeting has covered a wide range of topics, such as Calbee's management policy, our purchase policy, the guidelines we formulated in 2010, and examples of cooperation with business partners to reduce costs.
Ensuring adequate overseas procurement
Whether harvests are good or bad, we always strive to secure raw materials consistently, in terms of quality, price and volume, so that we can maintain steady supplies. To achieve that, we have been dealing directly with a number of overseas producers since fiscal 2014. By increasing our options in terms of suppliers, our aim was to reduce the risk of quality, price or volume fluctuations affecting raw materials, to reduce costs, and to increase the number of items that we stock. We are increasingly dealing directly with overseas suppliers of machinery and equipment for plants too, as well as raw materials, in an effort to ensure strategic procurement and reduce costs.