15 March 2016

Х5 to conduct quality audits at suppliers’ production facilities

Moscow, 15 March 2016

Х5 Retail Group has launched an audit programme to assess the reliability of its suppliers and the compliance of their food production processes with quality standards. Pyaterochka pioneered the initiative in January 2016.

The audit programme involves regular inspections of food production processes by a dedicated commission. Based on the audit findings, suppliers will be graded on a four-point scale from A to D, where “A” means compliance with all standards, “B” means minor deviations, “C” indicates a potential risk of undermining consistent product quality, and “D” means critical non-compliance.

Category A facilities will be reinspected only in case of customer complaints or comments from regulatory authorities (unstable product quality). Category B suppliers will undergo another on-site audit within two years. Category C facilities are re-audited after one year. A Category D decision will automatically lead to a three-month suspension of deliveries to allow the vendor to take remedial action, followed by mandatory reinspection before any supplies are resumed.

In 2016, Pyaterochka plans to audit several hundred facilities, primarily those producing meat, fish and poultry, dairy products, salads, freshly baked cakes and baby food, which are subject to stricter quality and safety requirements. Audits will also cover producers of meat and fish delicacies, caviar, cheese, canned and frozen products, bakery, fruit and vegetables.

Pyaterochka will also conduct unscheduled inspections in case of a product recall, unstable product quality, repeated defect detection, and customer complaints.

Before launching the programme, Pyaterochka worked with independent audit companies on a pilot scheme that inspected 348 production facilities. As a result, 27% of production facilities were highly rated by the auditors and received category A status. Some suppliers were classified as category D and purchases from them were stopped.

As part of the programme, Pyaterochka has provided training for staff to be certified as food production auditors and able to verify compliance of products with FSSC 22000, HACCP and other food quality standards. The training was provided by SGS Vostok, a member of the SGS Group, a leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company.

X5 constantly improves its approaches to product quality control in order to support the retail industry’s drive to raise product quality and remove low quality and counterfeit products from the market.