The paper discusses food quality and safety standards that are critically important not only for developed, but also for developing economies, where the consumers' safety is among the primary issues to be considered in food supply chain management. After the rapid development of many economies, quality standards have focused on consumers' demand for safe food and beverage. The documents, certifying food quality and safety are getting much more attention, together with the production supervision and control from the starting phase, i.e. the producer, up to the market chain's end. General ecological factors and influences, such as chemicals, pesticides, food hygiene, ethical trade and production, are among the components of a quality standard set. Clients' higher expectations result in higher requirements on producers and exporters, which need to ensure higher food safety to enter internal and external markets.
Quality concept in the food industry puts an emphasis on three factors: conformity with product's intended purpose [iso9001??]; safety; satisfaction of consumer's expectations and perceptions. In general, most consumers pay attention to the first two, but their expectations involve a lot of different factors, such as price, taste, appearance, production system, nutritious content and fair trade, among others.
The product quality needs to be sound and reliable, but at affordable prices, so the companies must develop standardized procedures for production and selling processes. The needed quality standards are designed to meet the requirements of European consumers and regulators.
The EU Food Law concerns food content, product description, chemical safety, sanitary conditions, among others. According to the law, farmers and processing companies have the greatest responsibility for food safety assurance. In addition, they need to prove that they have applied diligence and traceability practices. Therefore, the paper presents a number of international standards followed by food producers and distributors: ISO 9000 (International Standartization Organization), HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points), EUREP (Euro Retailer Produce Working Group), GFSI (Global Food Safety Initiative), EN 45000 (European Quality Assurance Standards).