Food quality management


A NATIONAL policy of quality management in the food industry has been called for by the author of a study on food companies in Ireland. Ms Anne Connolly, who has just completed a research fellowship under the Newman Scholarship at UCD's graduate business school, made the call at a conference in Dublin yesterday. Her study concluded that Irish food companies must adopt far more rigorous, sophisticated and effective quality management practices to meet the demands of consumers and food retailers. The study, to define quality in the context of the food industry, found that one quarter of all food plants are already pursuing effective quality management practices. But it found that such practices are largely imposed by external pressures from foreign customers, particularly British retail multiples and competitors.

The survey also found that foreign owned companies are scoring higher than indigenous companies, large companies higher than small and medium range firms and that the dairy sector scores significantly higher than the four other sectors.