QA Activities in Our Supply Chain

Approach

The Asahi Group is thoroughly committed to the quality assurance activities throughout its supply chain, from product planning and development to the procurement of raw materials, manufacturing, logistics and sales. We are ready to respond to any quality problem whenever one may occur. When a problem surfaces, we take all measures to identify its cause and quickly and properly resolve it. Within the Group, we share the expertise obtained through these actions, and leverage it to prevent the recurrence of similar problems in every area we operate within and to lead toward continuing quality improvement.

Quality Assurance Activities in Each Part of the Supply Chain
Quality Assurance Activities in Each Part of the Supply Chain
Examples of Quality Assurance Activities

Development

During product development, the Asahi Group rigorously examines quality to ensure that the products and services provided to customers satisfactorily achieve the quality that they are designed to have, so that these products provide safety and security.
The Asahi Group tests and reviews the quality risks surrounding raw materials, container materials, manufacturing methods, labeling and other particulars under the leadership of the division responsible for that specific area. Throughout the product development process there are many stages that involve a quality review gate, and we carefully examine everything to ensure compliance with relevant laws and the Group’s quality standards.

Procurement

The Asahi Group is committed to procuring safe raw materials. To this end, the Group imposes rigorous quality standards on the raw materials used in its products and regularly audits the quality provided by its suppliers to ensure food safety, the single largest obligation of a food manufacturer.
Further, the Group is increasing the traceability of its raw materials and product data and leverages it to quickly respond to problems and thoroughly manage product quality.

Manufacturing

The Asahi Group’s production management system guarantees that its products are made in accordance with established processes and that the standard for quality has been achieved in each part of the process. The Group designs its systems so that it is impossible to proceed to the next step in the process if any problem has been detected, its cause has not been identified and quality has not been ensured.
To reduce the quality risk factors to as close to zero as possible, we identify potential problems that may occur in a manufacturing process from different perspectives. This involves, for example, focusing on the actual workplaces, materials and conditions of the processes, and tirelessly working to predict problems, identifying any hint of trouble before it occurs. The Asahi Group regards these actions as a prerequisite for quality, and has included them in the quality standards common to all Group companies. All of our production locations follow rigorous requirements and accordingly conduct annual quality inspections in pursuit of continued quality improvement.
In 2020, no quality accidents* occurred within the Asahi Group, either domestically or overseas.

*Quality accidents indicate the cases of product recalls made public through a newspaper announcement or on our website, on the grounds of a violation of the related regulations and voluntary rules specified in GRI Standards 416-2 and 417-2.

Food Defense Initiatives

The Asahi Group has established guidelines demonstrating our attitude with regards to food defense response at plants, and is continuously working to construct a quality assurance system based on multilateral risk analysis from quality & safety management, service and infrastructure viewpoints.
Food defense activities, which include creating relationships of trust with employees (communication, education etc.), managing plant entry, managing access to manufacturing sites, restricting the bringing in of items to manufacturing sites and chemical management, are being promoted and incorporated into various initiatives from both service and infrastructure facets to give our customers peace of mind.

Response to Product Complaints and Accidents

We formulated the Asahi Group Recall Rules and the Asahi Group Response Manual for Serious Quality Issues to structure our response to serious accidents related to our products. Under the guidelines, incidents are promptly reported through a designated emergency channel to the president and a task force is established to handle the situation.
In responding to accidents, we place top priority on safeguarding the lives (health) of our customers and make a company-wide effort to minimize any damage through the following basic approach.

  • (1) We endeavor to ascertain the facts and circumstances, promptly disclose necessary information to prevent increases in damage and concern.
  • (2) We take the initiative in taking every appropriate action for our customers and society, including disclosure to the mass media, corporate announcements (information calling for attention), recalls, and so forth.
  • (3) We promptly report to the supervising authorities and quickly respond to any requirements.

In the event of a voluntary recall, the background of the situation and the shape of our response are discussed and shared. Subsequently, initiatives are taken for the prevention of recurrence within the Group and the strengthening of the Quality Assurance System.

Response to Radioactive Substances

As a solution for radioactive substances in Japan, the Asahi Group engages in the following activities and is organizationally adapted to the new standard values for radioactive substance content in food which began to be enforced in April 2012.

Our Basic Policy

  1. Based on the standard and directives promulgated by the national government and related agencies, we will establish control standards for each process stage starting from the procurement of raw materials to manufacturing in order for all Group products to conform to the abovementioned criteria, and will adhere to them.
  2. For the water, environment, and raw materials used for manufacturing, we will verify their safety by quickly ascertaining the information concerning the status of governmental monitoring of the radioactive substances and the analysis results from the suppliers.
  3. In conjunction, we will conduct voluntary inspections on a periodic basis, and our verification process for safety will be thoroughly followed through.
  4. If there is any deviation from the control standards or in the case of any suspicion thereof, the process will be suspended immediately, and the cause will be determined while we take steps for countermeasures.
  5. We will periodically test the effectiveness of the quality assurance system, and continue to make improvements.
  6. We will strive for the spreading of appropriate information that is appropriate to social responsibility.
<Inspection System for Radioactive Substances>
  1. The Group is equipped with five germanium semiconductor detectors that can make detailed analysis of radioactive substances. Furthermore, we arrange scintillation spectrometers and survey meters as we think it is fit, and implement voluntary inspection.
  2. Target of analysis
    We set the frequency of monitoring on raw materials, water used, products, and materials such as containers as well as on the environment depending on the characteristics of the products and the location of factories.
  3. Method of analysis
    Our analysis conforms to the notice “On the Testing Method for Radioactive Substances in Food,” which was issued by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.

We continue to abide by the guidance of the national government and local governments while paying attention to the various pieces of information on radioactive substances and keep striving to strengthen our quality assurance system.

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Actions Taken by Domestic Group Companies

Logistics

Temperature changes and vibration during the transportation and storage of a product may cause the quality of the product to deteriorate. Maintaining the quality of the exterior of the package requires very careful loading and unloading operations. The Asahi Group strives in its logistics operations to ensure that the products delivered to customers retain the highest level of quality.

Distribution

The Asahi Group obeys the laws and rules that govern its explanations, representations and advertising activities implemented for its products and services, and provides customers with correct information. Further, the Group ensures that preliminary reviews are thoroughly conducted to prevent any misunderstandings the customers might have.

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Customers

The Asahi Group regards opinions of its customers and distributors as assets that it can leverage to enhance the quality of the Group’s management of its business. Through proactive dialogue with customers, we identify problems, develop and improve products and services, and continuously enhance customer satisfaction. We leverage these opinions in the formulation of the policies directing the Group’s activities and management.

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