Product quality and safety

Product quality

Product quality and its maintenance over time have always been an all-important value for the Sofidel Group companies, guaranteed by compliance with procedures, the drive towards constant improvement, training of the staff involved and constant monitoring of processes.

Attention to product conformity and customer and consumer satisfaction are referred to in the company mission and developed in the Quality Policy, issued by Top Management and available on the Group's website.

The quality of the products manufactured is monitored through the Product Compliance Index, which takes into account all nonconformities detected internally and resolved before the products are placed on the market2.

The following graph shows the values of the Product Compliance Index in the Group production sites for the last three years.

2. The methodology for the calculation of the indicator is described in the Quality Management System procedure on product manufacture: the nonconformities are weighted according to their seriousness and compared to the total production manufactured.

Product compliance index

Soffass Converting via Lazzareschi (ITA) Soffass via Fossanuova (ITA) Soffass Monfalcone (ITA) Soffass Tassignano (ITA) Sofidel UK Baglan (UK) Sofidel Benelux Sofidel France Frouard Sofidel France Ingrandes Sofidel France Roanne
2019 98.49 97.58 98.10 94.26 97.50 98.23 96.87 98.35 97.28
2018 98.54 98.40 99.34 97.10 97.11 97.68 96.20 96.87 95.94
2017 98.13 98.30 99.69 92.83 96.30 97.70 96.02 97.53 95.72
Sofidel Germany Sofidel Greece Sofidel Hungary Sofidel Poland Sofidel Romania Sofidel Spain Sofidel Sweden Sofidel UK Leicester (UK) Werra (THP Plant) (GER) Werra (Werra Plant) (GER) Werra (Omerga Plant) (GER)
2019 98.34 94.58 94.49 98.39 98.65 97.47 95.34 97.68 97.76 99.58 97.58
2018 98.74 98.99 98.75 98.99 98.62 98.58 89.45 97.95 96.34 99.43 97.71
2017 96.65 99.67 n.a. 97.91 98.23 98.47 94.75 96.93 98.76 98.61 98.33

The lack of reports for some sites is due to the adoption of different calculation indices which are not comparable.

Considering that the maximum value that can be reached by the index is 100 and that this index is based on stricter criteria than the simple ratio between compliant products and total production, the trend in the data highlights satisfactory results in all companies.

Product safety

Product safety and the need to protect consumer health are key principles for Sofidel, reaffirmed in 2017 with the establishment, at Corporate level, of the Product Safety Department, set up to strengthen the guarantee of consumer protection, anticipate market demands and seize further opportunities for improvement.

At the production sites, the commitment to safety, quality and legality of the products is expressed in the Self-Controlled Health-Hygiene Policy approved by the Legal Representative of each company.

The entire supply chain is involved in applying self-controlled health-hygiene systems which ensure compliance with the mandatory regulations for the tissue industry, the application of the requirements of the voluntary standards British Retail Consortium (BRC) - Consumer Products Personal Care and Household - and International Food Standard (IFS) - Household and Personal Care Products - and the requirements of the main retailers.

At the basis of the self-controlled systems is the risk assessment, which makes it possible to determine and measure the potential risks of physical, chemical and microbiological contamination related to the various stages of the production cycle, from the design phase of new products (Research and Development) to their delivery.

The risk analysis follows the principles of the HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) methodology, applies the Severity times Probability algorithm and helps to identify Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).

The various activities carried out in the Group's companies, such as cleaning and inspection, traceability and product recall tests and the application of hygiene rules are also supported by chemical and biological tests carried out by external accredited laboratories in compliance with the main applicable regulations and guidelines. The testing plan is periodically reassessed taking into account the development of the regulations and/or special requirements of the relevant market.

With this procedure, the potential risks inherent in the product are minimised to ensure consumer safety.

The supply chain is also involved in the self-controlled system so that raw materials are guaranteed to comply with applicable legislation and to be suitable for use in articles.

In plants where the self-controlled health-hygiene system is implemented (88% of European plants), 100% of the product categories are subject to assessment of the health and safety impact of products, while GMP are in any case adopted at all sites.

With reference to the certifiable voluntary standards, there were 17 BRC or IFS certified European production sites at the end of 2019, covering 74.68% of total production.

In December 2019, the US sites of Circleville and Haines City successfully completed the certification process according to the BRC standard.

In 2020, IFS certification is expected for the Sofidel Hungary and Sofidel Greece plants, and BRC certification is expected for Sofidel America Inola and Sofidel America Green Bay.

With regard to uncertified plants, the self-controlled health-hygiene system implementation process will be completed at Sofidel Sweden in 2020.

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