The Quality Work Group Has the Last Word
Quality is the sum of the characteristics (...) of an entity with regard to its ability to meet established and predefined requirements...
... that is the definition of quality according to DIN standards. Dry stuff, right? Things are much livelier when the Alnatura Quality Work Group meets. This committee of experts advises Alnatura in developing new products and improving the quality of its existing products. The work group meets three times a year with members of Alnatura's management team, as well as employees from Quality Management and Consumer Services, Product Management and Customer Development. An entire day is spent at the Bickenbach head offices discussing how to meet Alnatura's high standards of quality. "Unless our Quality Work Group approves a product, the item will not reach store shelves, even if I am personally satisfied with it," states Alnatura founder and CEO Götz Rehn about the influence of independent experts on the assortment of Alnatura products.
Pros in the field of organic food
The committee is composed of professionals from a wide range of specialities, all with extensive experience in organic foods. For instance, attorney Hanspeter Schmidt is an expert for food law and has advised Alnatura for many years in all matters related to organic products and genetic engineering. As an expert for questions on the topic of wholesomeness, particularly the integrity of baby and children's food, the nutritionist Dr. Petra Kühne always has an open ear. One of the specialists for organic food quality and quality management is the agricultural scientist and microbiologist Dr. Thomas Dewes. The individual members of the work group complement each other in their specialities and thus allow for a comprehensive examination of Alnatura products.
Fundamental questions and issues are discussed
At every meeting, the experts actively study all aspects of the current product engineering process at Alnatura, examining in-depth critical recipes and production processes. How much sugar should a tasty, wholesome cookie contain? What is the optimal temperature for creating a milk dessert? These and other fundamental questions are debated passionately among committee members. In addition, the Quality Work Group briefs Alnatura employees on the latest in EU eco-regulations related to agriculture and genetic engineering laws, as well as on new requirements for food labelling and much more. For Alnatura and these quality experts, one thing is clear: All the agricultural ingredients in every Alnatura product come from ecologically monitored farms, preferably from members of organic farming associations such as Demeter or Bioland.
100 product ideas for the months ahead
For employees of Alnatura Product Management, the commentaries by the independent committee of experts provide important support that they look forward to receiving when planning new products or designing quality activities for the quality management program. The experts carefully follow the reports from both departments and ask targeted questions in order to gain full picture for each product. With more than 800 Alnatura products and some 100 product ideas for the coming months this is no easy undertaking. For this reason, Alnatura and the Quality Work Group not only communicate with each other at the regular meetings. Frequently, questions cannot be resolved on a single day. As a result, further written reports regarding manufacturing processes or product features are required. Alnatura likewise receives prompt feedback from its experts regarding current questions. All communication between Alnatura and the Quality Work Group is coordinated by the Head of the Quality division at Alnatura, Dr. Manon Haccius.
Meeting quality standards
In the evening after a long day in the Quality Work Group, the participants have all had a positive experience – not only because of the samples of delicious newly developed products. Many ideas were reviewed for their feasibility, many Alnatura products in development and already proven ones have withstood renewed screening, so that in the end every product meets 100 percent the quality standards set by Alnatura.
The Quality Work Group advises Alnatura in developing new products and improving the quality of its existing products. Third-party, independent experts and members of Alnatura's management team, as well as employees from Quality Management and Consumer Services, Product Management and Customer Development discuss twice a year the implementation of Alnatura's high quality standards.