Integrated Annual Report 2018

Commercial management


Viscofan offers the widest range of solutions for the production of sausages in a market, the meat industry, that seeks to meet consumer demands.

In response to all these needs, Viscofan, as the world leader in the production and distribution of casings, is the only company whose products are manufactured with the main four customized casing technologies: cellulose, collagen, fibrous and plastic, and combines all its efforts to improve and evolve year after year, offering a wide range of innovative products and solutions.

Each of our casings is developed to reduce time and eliminate production stages, allowing substantial saving, and fostering the production of new products and appliances (different cold meats, such as mortadellas, frankfurters, mini-snacks, salamis, etc.).

Viscofan offers a Technical Support service for customers. This service is a competitive advantage and provides great assistance to customers at deciding, from our wide range of casings, which one fits better to the needs of each product. This work is especially important because we are increasingly seeing that our customers do not divide by technology, but rather use various technologies for different products, depending on the degree of sophistication of the meat processor.

The position of Viscofan as "The Casing Company" saves costs and facilitates interaction with meat processors, who decide to use technology according to product specifications. In this regard, 53.8% of revenue came from customers who purchased products in all our technologies compared to 53.1% in 2017. A trend that is gaining greater weight in terms of the sophistication of meat processors.

Cellulose casings

Cellulose casings are made from natural cellulose. They are used primarily in the production of industrially cooked sausages.

Small size cellulose casing is characterised by its high elasticity, consistency of size and homogeneity. The easy peel of this casing guarantees a fast and uninterrupted production process. It also stands out for the excellent smoking properties and for the perfect absorption of colour and flavour. It can be printed in a large variety of colours and stripes; what's more, the transparency and brightness that they deliver to the product gives them a very appetizing appearance. It is especially designed for those more traditional applications, such as frankfurters, Vienna sausages, hot-dogs and raw-cured products.

Collagen casings

They are made using collagen as a raw material, a protein that is extracted from the skin of cattle and pigs. Following a complex treatment, collagen is suitable for further processing and can be shaped into casings.

It is an alternative to animal guts. They are casings that improve the appearance of the product, thanks to their smoked properties and perfect development of colour and flavour, fulfilling the consumer's wish to obtain a product with a classic and appetizing appearance; ideal both for cooked and raw-cured sausages. Collagen has great resistance because it stands fast filling, over cooking and hanging. As a result, it is very efficient in the production process.

Collagen products stand out for being very uniform (standard size), and small sizes have good properties for frying and for achieving a perfect "bite".

The classic collagen sheet (Coffi), and the pleated collagen with a net (Coffinet) offer new possibilities that go beyond traditional shapes, making it possible to produce cooked hams, cylindrical sausages and marinated and smoked items.

Fibrous casings

Fibrous casings are made with a mixture of cellulose and abaca paper, a paper obtained from vegetable fibers that provides high strength and a standardized size to the casing, but less elasticity than that of the cellulose casing.

Fibrous casing is mainly used for large sausages, products such as mortadella or salamis, which require excellent size consistency, high mechanical resistance during the production process and ease of peeling.

They transfer colour and aroma homogeneously. The variety of colours available adds value to the final product by improving its visual appearance, making it look really appetising.

Plastic casings and specialities

Plastic casings are made from a range of polymers. There is a wide variety of types (in tube format and also in film format) that allow us to offer the most suitable product for each type of application. The tubular plastic casings are extremely resistant to the filling process and their barrier properties maintain the constancy of the aroma, colour and weight of the product during its distribution and sale. These barrier properties maximise product life and cooking performance.

The plastic casings offered by Viscofan also incorporate exceptional characteristics such as a great ease of product moulding, peeling and slicing, and they maintain the organoleptic properties of the final product during its useful life.

Within the plastics division there is a family of products focused on food packaging. Viscofan specialises in two of these types of products. On the one hand the "Nanopack" plastic films, which are sheets for separation of sliced foods. These films - also called interleavers - enhance the visual characteristics of the product, its colour and brightness, and its presentation, since they avoid slices of the product from sticking together. On the other hand, retractable bags and "Vector" packaging films extend the catalogue of retractable bags that the company has had for many years, adding a new technology that provides options and properties to cover with a wider range of applications in the meat and dairy sector.

Our catalogue also contains products that can transfer spices, aromas, flavours or colours, depending on the added value requirements requested by our customers.

Machinery solutions

The machines sold by Viscofan are intended to help our customers use our casings. These machines have been designed for casings for which the meat machinery market does not offer adequate solutions due to their special application.


The Viscofan Group carries out its commercial activity through a series of trademarks, in particular: Viscofan-The Casing Company®, Viscofan Bioengineering®, Naturin®, Vector®, Nanopack-Technology and Packaging®, Supralon®; Collinstant® (in bioengineering); Edicurve®, Efidry® and the most recent Vispice® and V-Film® in the products area.


The Viscofan Group places the customer at the centre of its operational decisions, continuously trying to provide him with the best value proposition in order to strengthen efficiency and have a greater diversification in the product, while maintaining strict quality and food safety controls.

In this respect, Viscofan has the largest commercial network in the industry and the level of service of its technicians is widely recognised throughout the market. As artificial casing experts, we are the only company of the sector offering a global and integrated service to our customers, so we can offer the casing alternative that better suits customer's needs.

In a continuous improvement model, through multidisciplinary teams representing sales, production, and research & development areas, the Viscofan Group identifies the issues the meat industry is more concerned about and analyses, develops and implements the related improvements.

Thinking of maintaining our leading position in the global market, in an environment as dynamic as the present one, would be impossible if it wasn’t because of without Viscofan's excellent level of service and diversification; as a result of our presence in 18 countries, we are able to provide suitable casing solutions to more than 1,689 customers in 100 different countries.

In addition to quality of service and customer satisfaction service quality and customer satisfaction, another key objective for Viscofan is to ensure the safety of customers and consumers, thereby Viscofan has a very comprehensive end-to-end system of claims and complaints that facilitates dialogue and communication to register, identify, monitor and analyse any dissatisfaction or complaint placed by the customer with regard to a product or service provided by the Viscofan Group to its customers. It is a transversal system in which the departments involved must analyse the cause of the dissatisfaction and provide the corrective actions that will be established in the organisation to avoid its repetition. The system is established as a result of the Group's philosophy of continuous improvement. Any dissatisfaction is analysed, making it possible to control both the material that is returned as a result of the complaints and the compensations paid to customers. In 2018, a total of 3,036 claims were registered by our systems, including service, administrative or product complaints, compared to the 2,748 claims in the previous year.

The Group's global presence exposure has been recognised on several occasions. Viscofan received, among others, the Aster Award for Business Trajectory 2013, granted by ESIC (Business and Marketing School), the Award for a Trajectory of Internationalisation was granted to Viscofan by the Business Circle, along with Wharton University of Pennsylvania; and the export award granted by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Navarre.

Meanwhile, the Supply Chain department has the purpose of improving the service to our customers and optimising working capital. To attain these objectives, initiatives have been carried out to improve and standardise the supply chain management tools to meet the standards demanded by various customers and the coordination of corporate teams has been strengthened, as well as simplifying the number of people involved in the assessment of the orders and the complaints, taking advantage of a unique scale in the casings market, which contributes to streamlining procedures and improving the service for our customers.

Additionally Viscofan’s sales team is keen to receive feedback on their products and know to what extent their customers’ satisfaction is achieved. For this reason there’s a satisfaction assessment system that allows them to collect customers’ opinion. The survey measures four parameters mainly (Product Quality, Delivery Service, Financial Competitiveness and Technical Assistance). Up to date the evidence has shown a level of satisfaction above the average set as objectives.


The Viscofan Group provides an adequate extent of information and labelling with regard to the characteristics of its products and services.

In this respect, it is crucial for the Viscofan Group to provide reliable and explicit information on its products, upholding commercial practices that preserve the interests of the recipients of such information, making it easier to choose the most suitable product in relation to their interests. Viscofan’s Code of Conduct establishes that "relationships with customers will be based on respect and transparency".

Therefore, commercial messages fall within the principles of transparency and veracity where no subjective comparisons are made nor information that could collide with third party rights is provided. These action policies expand to all geographical areas where the Viscofan Group has a commercial presence.

There were no sanctions or reports of breaches related to marketing communications or labelling of products and services in 2018.


Product safety and food hygiene from the supplier to the customer

One of the main purposes of casing is to protect the meat it contains. Processed meat is a basic food product for thousands of millions of people across the world. Viscofan, as leader in this sector, is highly aware of industry requirements that ensure both the production process and the resulting end-product strictly comply with legal specifications and have passed appropriate controls to achieve an optimal quality and ensure the safety and hygiene of the product to customers.

On the other hand, to guarantee at all times the excellence of products and services, ensured for customers and for the final consumer, Viscofan has a product safety and food hygiene system that covers all of these aspects: Manufacturing facilities are built following food safety specifications, employees are trained in food hygiene and product safety, raw materials are tested to adhere to specifications agreed previously with certified suppliers, systems for detecting any defective materials in the production process are in place, pest control is implemented and policies to monitor hazardous substances, personal hygiene and visitors are also arranged.

Product safety and quality system

These protocols configuring our product safety and quality system are based on the following core principles:

1. Hazard analysis and critical control point: Viscofan has a hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) system in place. The Company formed an inter-disciplinary team that assesses every step of the production process to detect possible hazards (physical, chemical and microbiological pollution, including allergens), identify critical control points, establish relevant controls and take any required corrective action. The system is annually updated in line with any changes in the production process.

2. Compliance with the applicable laws: Casings manufacturing is becoming more tightly regulated, in the area of food safety, by countries and supranational institutions, making up a growing and constantly changing battery of rules.

This regulatory framework directly affects the activity of different production plants due to laws in the country of origin and requirements in the receiving countries, and internationally recognised standards.

Given how complex this situation is, the Patents & Regulatory Affairs Division reinforces the compliance of our products with different food safety regulations. This division's main functions are as follows:

  • Monitoring food industry regulatory frameworks at a national and international level, especially any regulation concerning the casings sector, and ensuring said regulations are adopted and complied with internally.
  • Review regulatory compliance in each of the production plants, coordination and establishment of action plans.
  • Liaising with public agencies and trade associations related with the regulation of matters affecting the food and meat product casings industry.

3. Product traceability and certification: Viscofan operates a product traceability system that enables us to identify, at any time and in full detail, the history of every unit and even sub-unit sold, from receipt of raw materials to product use by our customers. In Europe, Viscofan fully implements a food traceability system under Regulation (CE) 178/2002.

4. Audit and certification: To ensure that our product safety and food hygiene systems comply with requirements, our production processes are audited internally on a regular basis. They are also audited by the health authorities, numerous customers and as appropriate, certification authorities, as is the case for the European facilities successfully certified every year in accordance with the most stringent standards on the market (British Retail Consortium Standards).

What's more, Viscofan has internationally developed certifications for meat processors to homologate new suppliers and commercialise their products in the main distribution chains around the world:


Underlying key aspects:

  • Ensure food safety. Efficient and dynamic control of risks.
  • Compliance with applicable legislation in producing countries and with the requirements of the receiving countries and with internationally recognised standards.
  • Reduction of costs of possible errors of any production chain.
  • Organised and efficient communication of all interested parties (internal, suppliers, customers, authorities).
  • Provide trust to customers/consumers.
  • BRC - Global Standard for Food Safety: The global standard for food safety is aimed at ensuring that suppliers comply with the requirements that guarantee the safety of food.
  • BRC/IoP - Global Standard For Packaging and Packaging Materials: This certification is aimed at producers of packages and materials in contact with food.

Certificates that prove the organisation's commitment to safety, health and quality at its work centres and for its products, as well as in all the activities carried out around the world. This highlights the company's continued interest in offering and ensuring compliance with the highest standards.

The certification, by means of an audit by an accredited external entity, guarantees that the Viscofan group plants have the necessary systems to identify and control the hazards that may adversely affect food safety through a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point system (HACCP) and with the firm commitment of the company's management team.

The Viscofan Group also has Halal and Kosher certifications. These certifications, referring to food products, are based on regulations that are key to attend different markets and to explore new growth opportunities. The Halal certification is specifically designed for products sold in Muslim countries and Islamic communities, while Kosher certification is a requirement for food consumption by the Jewish community.

The Company’s commitment to quality and food safety takes the form of our mandatory processes applied throughout the production process and involve stringent working practices that are audited both internally and externally.

Customer privacy and data protection

Another important aspect in relationships with customers is the attention to the privacy and protection of their data. In this sense, Viscofan also has a complaints system to report incidents and/or violations to the customer's privacy, as well as the loss of customer data. No incidents were reported in this area in 2018.

Germany BRC Food
Belgium BRC Packaging
Brazil* BRC Food y BRC Packaging
Canada BRC Food
China BRC Food y BRC Packaging
Spain BRC Food y BRC Packaging
Mexico BRC Packaging
Nanopack BRC Packaging
Czech Republic BRC Food y BRC Packaging
Serbia BRC Packaging
Uruguay BRC Food
USA BRC Packaging y SQF M-2**
* The Viscofan Group is expecting to extend BRC Packagin certification to the Ermelino plant in Brazil
** SQF. Food safety system based on hazards analysis.

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