4. A different way of doing things
Management of internal commintments
The Eroski Group´s mission statement includes two relevant aspects, amongst others:
The EFQM general management model
The Eroski Group applies a management model based on the principles of the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM). This enables us to evaluate the quality of our management and adopt measures for improving all the areas and business units. This global model, based on both horizontal and vertical management systems, sets specific goals, plans of action, instructions and control and monitoring tools that guarantee the application of the commitments taken on by our organisation, favouring the overall management system. So, for example, we identify the Global Compact principles referring to human rights, labour regulations, the environment and anti-corruption, and develop them in accordance with our work model.
The implementation of this system has focused our efforts and resources and based our management on the satisfaction of our customers and workers and on economic efficiency, through continuous improvement. To date we have obtained 2 EFQM management quality excellence model Silver Q certifications, for the Elorrio general goods platform (2002) and the Amorebieta fresh produce platform (2004), and we are continuing to work on extending the model to the entire organisation.
Quality Management SystemThe best way for us to attain a high competitiveness level and ensure defence of consumer rights and interests is to be committed to the quality and safety of our products and services, from their production right down to their consumption in the customers´ home, and the provision of rigorous, reliable information.
Quality management is a basic mainstay of the work we do. We have therefore implemented exhaustive controls to guarantee safety and hygiene throughout the whole of the chain:
We guarantee traceability and control of the quality standards as regards the freshness and healthiness of our products, with continual advancement regarding defence of the consumers' rights and interests and of the environment. In this way we fully comply with the satisfaction of what we define as Consumer Value, a priority objective for Eroski.
Our own laboratory is a key element for the Product Quality Department, which forms part of the Consumption Area and is accountable to the General Management. It is accredited in accordance with the UNE-EN ISO/IEC 17025:2005 Standard "Conformity assessment. Requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories", which assures the reliability, legal value and traceability of the results. It also functions as a reference laboratory in charge of certifying the sub-contracted laboratories that much pass a control of their installations and work practices.The Eroski Group Laboratory: Work programmes
We perform a variety of studies at our laboratory, most of them in combination with other analyses for more rigorous results, to check that the foods comply with the legal parameters and, sometimes, to issue a verdict on their quality. In the Chemical unit, data is obtained on composition, quality and the presence of undesirable substances. The Microbiology division studies any possible contamination of the products from microorganisms which could be hazardous (pathogens). The recently-created Genetics unit tests various aspects such as product authenticity and food safety (see chapter 5.1. "Consumer Vocation" for information on the new analytical procedures that have been incorporated).
To achieve leadership in technological innovation for the introduction of new procedures guaranteeing healthy, quality consumption, Eroski supports and collaborates with technological innovation centres as part of the food area R+D Plan, which involves us in a growing number of new projects, detailed below in section 5.1 "Consumer Vocation". Ongoing projects are as follows:
Ethical Management SystemAs an indication of our control and awareness-raising work, we are committed to our workers throughout the whole of the production chain. Respecting and safeguarding human rights is a priority objective for Eroski and is shared throughout the organisation, with a view to assuring people´s physical, psychological and social well-being everywhere we operate. For this reason we have obtained certification in accordance with the SA 8000:2001 Standard.
Our responsibility entails internal monitoring and monitoring of our suppliers, particularly the most critical producers, for whom we have designed a future plan which will make use of external audits to guarantee gradual compliance with the criteria established in the SA 8000:2001 Standard.
We have formally undertaken to implement an Ethical Management System, which will be a guideline for managing the work with our interested parties, both internal and external. The monitoring of this system is led by an Ethics Committee consisting of the General Management, Consumer Management, Social Responsibility Management, Social Management and Purchase Management departments, and this is an indicator of our high degree of commitment with achieving its aims.
Its implementation is carried out through a Management Team, whose aim is to achieve continuous improvement of the indicators governing our relationship with our suppliers (working conditions, occupational health and safety, etc.), our prominent workers (participation, integration of different groups, training, voluntary turnover rate, remuneration, people satisfaction), our consumer partners (new members joining each year, assessment survey, participation index), society, and the surrounding environment.
Every year, the members of the Ethics Committee perform an internal audit using a self-assessment tool created by the Danish Ministry of Social Affairs and adapted for use with our organisation. At the same time we also have an annual external audit carried out.
Occupational Risk Prevention System
Attention to people in all our areas and business units is complemented with an occupational risk prevention system that complies with current legislation and provides for systematic measures to be taken, identifying areas for improvement.
The system is managed around a Joint Prevention Service, led by the Eroski Prevention Service Manager, who establishes and coordinates the common measures, policies, plans and objectives (see section 5.3 "People"). Management authorities like the Health and Safety Committee, the Prev ention Representatives and other actors such as the Prevention Coordinators help to implement it.
Environmental Management System: ECOPLANOur commitment to sustainable development and to satisfying the basic needs of the future generations means combining the preservation of the environment with an endeavour to bring together social well-being and financial goals. Our predominance as regards minimising the impact on climate change, protection of natural resources management and the preservation of biodiversity is an obligation for us.
Our Environmental policy is run by the Quality and Environment Department, who ensure compliance with the objectives integrated within all the areas and business lines. We also encourage consumer and society awareness through the Idea Sana EROSKI education and information programmes.
The management tool governing protection of the environment is ECOPLAN, whose key figures are the people in the organisation. Their individual and collective commitment consists of:
Economic/Financial System: ECOFINOur initial responsibility as a business organisation is to generate wealth for our interested parties and to become consolidated as a stable group, guaranteeing the stability of our profits and their distribution throughout the company.
Our initial responsibility as a business organisation is to generate wealth for our interested parties and to attain financial goals which, in coordination with our ethical and social commitments, will be a guarantee for the development of our mission and values, satisfying society's needs and helping to improve the quality of life.
Economic and financial analysis, which enables our profits to be monitored and controlled, is carried out through the Operating Account and Balance Sheet, generated from the lowest level (the individual centres) to the highest levels. These financial reference statements are contrasted monthly with the Management Plan and the data from previous years in order to detect any deviations and/or trends making new policies or corrective measures necessary.
In 2004, as a result of an internal redesign of the organisation, we created an Assets Guarantee Department, which is placed under the Corporate Area on the hierarchy, separate from the former common management that controlled the drawing up of the economic and financial reports and their internal audit, for greater independence and analytical rigour. Its objective is to perform administrative audits and procedures at the points of sale, leading to the creation of an Internal Audit Report which includes a broken down financial evaluation produced each month and studied by the Company Council and all the managers.
Like all companies of our size and volume of business, we are under obligation to carry out an External Audit providing a true and fair view of the state of our accounts. The Report drawn up as a result of this Audit is presented to the General Meeting for their approval.
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