Under a cooperative agreement, USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) and the Wallace Center at Winrock International developed Quality Management Systems: A Guide for Food and Farm Businesses. The goal of this project was to create a resource to help food and farm businesses, including food hubs, and USDA GroupGAP and other food safety certification administrators understand the benefits of a quality management system (QMS) and how to implement a QMS.
A QMS helps businesses manage operations. Though every industry has its own nuances, each uses tailored management systems based upon internationally-recognized best practices established by the International Organization of Standardization and laid out in industry-specific QMS manuals. The food and farming industry is a relative newcomer to Quality Management Systems; however, across the country food and farm operations are increasingly utilizing QMS as a management tool for food safety, production, inventory, and operational management. While there are many notable examples of farmer groups and food businesses utilizing QMS, there are few manuals or guidance documents written for these specific applications. This guide will provide an overview of the basic components of a QMS, including application examples, as well as point the way for next steps.
The full report is available at Quality Management Systems: A Guide for Food and Farm Businesses