To ensure the quality of Kampo products, Tsumura has established a traceable system to impose control from the earliest stages of cultivation and harvesting of the original plants, and to trace these plants to their batch, source, and growing locations.
Tsumura’s Raw Materials for Crude Drug Traceability System is able to monitor and control each step from cultivation, harvesting, processing, distribution, and storage by batches, and also to correlate this information with the incoming crude drugs.
The manufacturing processes, delivery, and distribution are systematized schemas. Tsumura also aims to systematize its traceability schema, from cultivation to distribution, to strengthen the provision of safe and premium quality products.
Nearly 80% of raw materials for crude drug are imported from China. Those that are cultivated by Chinese farmers are collected by a local company and delivered to Shenzhen Tsumura Medicine Co., Ltd. directly or via an affiliate Chinese company. Shenzhen Tsumura procures, screens, checks for quality, and stores all raw materials for crude drug indigenous to China, while at the same time conducts quality tests and testing of residual pesticides, heavy metals, and other harmful substances. Those with assured quality are subsequently transported to the Ibaraki and Shizuoka plants from the Shanghai Tsumura Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd. in China and the Ishioka Processing & Quality Control Center in Japan.
In Japan, a group of contract growers at five major locations, including Japan Agricultural Cooperatives or JA Hokkaido, delivers crude drugs direct to the Ishioka Processing & Quality Control Center, where the crude drugs from Japan, South Korea, and other countries are screened, processed, stored, and checked for quality before they are delivered to the Ibaraki and Shizuoka plants.
Tsumura’s Kampo extract granules for prescription are manufactured at the Ibaraki and Shizuoka Plants. Shanghai Tsumura Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd. is a Chinese production plant equipped with the same facilities as the Japanese plants. It specializes in reliably manufacturing and exporting extract powders, an interim product, to Japanese plants.
In 2009, Yubari Tsumura Co., Ltd. was established in Hokkaido and Lao Tsumura Co. Ltd was established in Laos to meet the growing demand for Kampo products and to improve Tsumura’s traceability system.