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Binding quality management system


The introduction of quality management systems (QMS) entails introducing quality assurance and quality management measures to preserve a product’s properties throughout the supply chain and to effectively exclude potential contamination. The user of a quality management system must use the system without restrictions and must submit voluntarily to inspections. As a rule, it is not the product itself but the manufacturing, storage and handling processes that are inspected.
The quality assurance system is only effective if heavy penalties are imposed on ‘black sheep’ in the production chain. Voluntary quality assurance systems can help to improve the image of agriculture among consumers.

QMS systems promote the integration of agriculture into the value chain, improve mutual transparency in the chain to ensure high food quality and safety (consumer protection) as well as traceability in cases of damage and recall campaigns. In addition, QMS systems can increase producer prices by differentiating payment according to universal and comparable criteria.

QMSs generally encompass various steps, such as the risk analysis, identifying critical control points, establishing certain limit values, introducing a monitoring system, implementing corrective measures in case of discrepancies, carrying out evaluation measures and producing documentation.

In fully integrated supply chains, quality assurance and quality management should preferably be interlinked throughout the entire supply chain so as to ensure that appropriate measures are implemented at all stages from the production of the agricultural product to marketing the product to consumers.


  • All actors along the value chain must be willing to take responsibility for quality assurance
  • External inspection of quality management systems
  • If applicable, acceptance of quality management systems established by private sector actors at state and public administration level
  • Sanction mechanisms
  • Laboratories for residue and contaminant analysis in food and feedstuffs
  • Training opportunities for independent inspectors and users

Possible Negative Effects

  • Multiple competing/incompatible systems (between producers and their buyers)
  • Higher costs for farms implementing the systems
  • Strong dominance of individual stages in the chain
  • Insufficient resources for regular and effective inspections by external inspection bodies
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This page was last edited on 7 May 2023 | 7:22 (CEST)
Implementation Level
  • On Site
  • Competent Authority
Required Budget
low ($)
Impact Horizon
  • medium
Administrative Complexity
Ministries Involved
  • Agriculture, Fisheries & Forests
  • Trade, Industry & Economic Development
  • Health
Trade Impact
not distorting
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  • Instruments
  • Policy Objectives