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Quality System Standards in the Canadian Food and Beverage Industry

Summary: The competitive arena of the food industry is becoming global due to new international trade agreements, improved communication and transportation, and changing consumer preferences. In order to succeed in this global market, companies must make attention to quality a priority. One way of doing this is to use a quality system.In this study, qualitative research was undertaken to determine the perceptions and experiences of selected Canadian food and beverage manufacturers regarding quality system standards. Quality managers of 10 Canadian food manufacturing companies, six registered to quality management standard ISO 9002 and four not registered to any standard, were interviewed. From the interviews, it was discovered that respondents from registered companies found the standards to be flexible and accommodating, while those from nonregistered companies perceived the standards to be rigid and unable to meet their specific needs. While respondents from registered companies expressed the importance of the standards to their customers, some respondents from nonregistered companies thought the standards were not important to their customers. Registered companies tended to place less importance on the monetary payback and more importance on the internal benefits of using the standards than did nonregistered companies.Respondents from both registered and nonregistered companies agreed on the importance of the standards in international trade and quality improvement, but all respondents indicated that the standards were difficult to interpret. More research, both qualitative and quantitative, is required to determine the value of the ISO 9000 standards in the food industry.

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  • Topics: ISO 9000
  • Keywords: Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP),ISO 9000,Hazard analysis critical control point (HACCP)
  • Author: Mehta, Sukesha; Wilcock, Anne
  • Journal: Quality Management Journal