International certifications guarantee product and service quality at SPAR

Quality certifications guarantee food safety and product quality throughout the operation of SPAR Hungary, not only in the area of food production, but also in the logistics processes and the retail network.

“Serving our customers with quality products is at the forefront of the strategic objectives of SPAR Hungary. In this endeavour, we receive important feedback from the strict quality assurance systems that are regularly audited by independent professional bodies. We are proud that from food production to logistics and sales, SPAR continuously meets the expectations and strict requirements which guarantee that our stores always receive the best quality products that comply with the strictest food safety standards”, said Márk Maczelka, head of communications at SPAR Hungary.

SPAR Hungary uses standards that best mirror the unique expectations of each field of expertise to secure quality assurance processes. The operation of quality management systems that are monitored and certified by independent bodies means that customers can be assured that processes and products are under supervision.

SPAR’s own meat-processing plant in Bicske, the Regnum Meat Processing Plant and Training Centre has had its ISO certification since 2010, and currently the ISO 22000:2018 standard is applied. Similarly, to the previous standards, this audit is not compulsory to have, but the aim for the meat processing plant is to secure a high-quality process. The certification is valid for three years with a yearly supervisory audit, and after the three years have elapsed, the meat plant goes through a renewal audit. This certification is proof of the supervision over production processes, the compliance with hygiene and food safety standards, and includes continuous assessments and checks.

At the SPAR enjoy.convenience plant in Üllő, mayonnaise salads, sandwiches, sandwich spreads and ready-made dishes are produced. It is an outstanding achievement in the life of the company that since November 2022 the plant (operating since 2018) has been certified to the ISO 22000:2018 quality management standard, which means that SPAR meets the most stringent food safety requirements.

The IFS Logistics 2.3 standard guarantees logistical safety and quality from the point when the product arrives up to the stage when it is delivered to the stores not only for SPAR and INTERSPAR customers, but for the shoppers of the franchise stores as well. SPAR Hungary was the first food retail chain in Hungary to join the voluntary quality management and food safety standard in 2013. In 2023, the company obtained the certificate for the 10th time. Last year, the company’s two logistics centres also achieved “High level” certification in the audit conducted by Quality Austria, another independent certification body. Compared to the compliance rate of 95 percent required for the highest certification, the logistics centre in Bicske achieved 96.79 percent, while the logistics centre in Üllő achieved 96.22 percent. The standard includes 153 criteria items from the receipt of goods to the last moment of delivery. It covers aspects such as the responsibility of the senior management regarding processes and customer focused attitudes, the quality and food safety system, training, personal hygiene, assessments, analyses, improvement areas, and the protection of food products.

SPAR retail processes with regard to the stores have been monitored by SGS Hungária Kft. for more than 20 years. This February, the company again successfully complied with the requirements of the ISO 9001 quality management standard. As result of the week-long audit, the company’s auditors found that the processes comply with the standard and implement its main requirement: a customer-focused approach. SPAR Hungary has thus been awarded the ISO certification for its retail processes for another three years. By obtaining this certification, SPAR Hungary remains the only retail chain in Hungary to be ISO certified by an independent third-party audit regarding its retail trade processes.

“SPAR Hungary continues to have its various fields of expertise certified, because it is important for both the company and our customers that our products are of controlled quality and meet stringent standards,” added Márk Maczelka.