Safety and quality: high standards, strict controls
We strive to offer our customers top product quality at fair prices at all times. Customers should be able to count on the safety and durability of our innovative consumer goods just as they can rely on the unsurpassed aroma and flavour of our coffee products. To ensure this, our production always follows stringent, consistent standards.
We test the quality of our products ourselves, as well as with the assistance of independent accredited external institutes. We stipulate clear requirements for the safety, functionality, workmanship and materials of our products. Our Social and Environmental Code of Conduct (SCoC) additionally specifies social and environmental standards for their production – because the Tchibo quality promise applies not only to product features, but also to the conditions they are produced under.
Selected suppliers produce for Tchibo according to stringent quality specifications: as part of our quality assurance, all products are tested for compliance with these specifications before we offer them for sale. We conduct our own extensive checks and inspections, and also work with a number of independent and accredited third-party testing institutes. The tests are based on legal requirements and international standards as well as our own Tchibo specifications, which are often stricter than those of the legislators. The TCM (Tchibo Certified Merchandise) quality seal distinguishes consumer goods produced exclusively for Tchibo and guarantees that they were subjected to the most stringent tests.
If despite our high standards, if occasionally something does not work or a product does not correspond to our customers’ expectations, we help assert guarantees and claims, and treat them with goodwill and fairness.
Coffee: comprehensive quality claim
We apply comprehensive quality standards to the supply chain of our coffee – from how the coffee plants are grown to the packaging of the roasted beans
Cultivation: We use the best beans from high-quality Arabica coffee plants for our coffee. For our Espresso products, we also use Robusta coffee to achieve the ‘typical’ Espresso flavour. We apply the highest quality standards. This includes promoting environmentally and socially responsible farming methods in the countries of origin. That is why we are continually increasing the share of the green coffee we process, that has been certified or validated by internationally recognised standards organisations. In sourcing it, we rely on good and long-standing supplier relationships to exporters and traders, as well as direct contact with coffee farmers and cooperatives. Our coffee experts regularly visit the producing countries to check on the cultivation methods and quality of the green coffee.
Transport: As green coffee beans age rapidly, and can absorb external odours and flavours, we ensure rapid and careful transport immediately after harvest.
Roasting: The beans initially undergo quality testing. Small amounts are roasted and brewed so that coffee tasters can identify the fullness, acidity and aroma of the coffee, and finalise the composition of the final product. At the roasting plant, green coffee is turned into roasted coffee – a crucial process that brings out the various flavours of the coffee beans. Our roasters comply with the strict hygiene standards and the complete documentation of the entire roasting process according to the latest International Food Standards (IFS 5).
Packaging: The aroma of coffee is extremely sensitive to oxygen, moisture, light and heat. High-quality packaging is required to protect it. Tchibo coffee is packed in plastic film in an oxygen-free environment. We guarantee the harmlessness of the materials used for this, and ensure that the packaging will not affect the flavour. Unfortunately, aluminium is still required for lining and metallising the plastic films; we are reviewing the possibility of an eco-friendlier solution.
Our standards for Tchibo coffee quality are summarised in the binding Tchibo Coffee Quality Standards. Our central Coffee Quality Management team monitors compliance with these standards, regularly checks the quality of our coffee, and takes appropriate action if deviations occur.
Consumer goods: quality from product development to sale
At Tchibo, quality is part of the design. A team of product managers, designers, buyers, quality developers, and quality testers who are all experts in their field – e.g. electrical appliances or clothing – are responsible for the product idea and its planning and implementation. Together, they work on the goal of ensuring customer satisfaction with the quality, design and price. The Tchibo quality management process covers the four steps of product development, quality development, quality assurance, and ensuring that customer information requirements are met.
Product development: Experts from product management, procurement and quality management initially determine the item’s materials and design requirements. Important criteria for this include longevity, practicality, and maximum product safety. Only suppliers that agree to comply with the Tchibo SCoC are commissioned to manufacture products (Consumer Goods value chain).
Quality development: Regular reviews of the manufacturing process through product samples and on-site visits to factories are indispensable for quality development.
Packaging: To ensure that the items are transported appropriately and without damage, we also set high quality requirements for transport and packaging. Before shipping our products, we run a variety of tests to make sure that they are well protected on their way to the Tchibo shops, Depots, or directly to the customer.
Quality assurance: All consumer goods are subjected to a final incoming goods inspection according to the Acceptable Quality Level (AQL) procedure. This ensures that all quality requirements have been implemented and a flawless product is sold to the customer. The final check takes place in an Inspection Centre in the respective production country before shipment, or on delivery to the main warehouse in Bremen – or, depending on the product, in both countries.
Ensuring customer information requirements: In accordance with our holistic concept of quality, our high standards do not end with delivery, as quality also plays a decisive role in sales and consulting. Detailed product information and operating instructions are included with the product and are also available at our online shop. As a matter of course, we comply with the appropriate standards for the structure and clarity of the operating instructions.
Integration of customer feedback: When our customers purchase a product, another important phase of our quality assurance process begins. Predefined information paths ensure that all relevant insights regarding potential improvements are incorporated into the development of successor products. This involves assessing customer returns and soliciting feedback from our Tchibo shop employees. For example, we conduct monthly surveys of the Tchibo shop managers to see how the weekly ranges are received by customers, and whether there are any suggestions for improvement.
Leading the way in quality management for consumer goods
With REACH (Registration, Authorisation and Evaluation of Chemicals), the EU has adopted one of the most comprehensive directives for the registration, authorisation and limitation of hazardous chemicals to date. The serious implementation of REACH requires a general rethink and great commitment for all protagonists in the supply chain. We have made an early start on driving forward the implementation of the regulation, which is why we are working to find new, REACH-compliant solutions for ourselves, for our suppliers and, of course, for our customers. For example, we are excluding the ‘substances of very high concern’ (SVHC) listed in REACH from our consumer articles. Consumers can use the ToxFox app from BUND e.V. to ask questions about SVHCs in products. We are well prepared. Our quality management reviews incoming inquiries and can be relied on to send an answer within 45 days.