ISO prepares standards, for example, on test methods to assist stakeholders along the whole food chain to fulfill both the statutory and regulatory requirements, as well as the requirements of consumers of these products.
The work in this field is mainly carried out by the technical committee for food products, ISO/TC 34, which was established in 1947.
All strata of society are concerned in the standardization of agricultural and food products, either in a direct or indirect way. In most countries governmental regulations determine provisions with respect to the hygienic and nutritional quality of food, including microbiological standards, limits for food additives, pesticide residues, contaminants, etc. Governments ensure compliance with the regulations by applying internationally accepted methods, which are specified in International Standards.
This section explains how ISO management system standards put state-of-the-art practices within the reach of all organization.
In a very small organization, there may be no "system", just "our way of doing things", and "our way" is probably not written down, but all in the head of the manager or owner.
The larger the organization, and the more people involved, the more the likelihood that there are written procedures, instructions, forms or records. These help ensure that everyone is not just "doing his or her own thing", and that the organization goes about its business in an orderly and structured way. This means that time, money and other resources are utilized efficiently.
To be really efficient and effective, the organization can manage its way of doing things by systemizing it. This ensures that nothing important is left out and that everyone is clear about who is responsible for doing what, when, how, why and where.
Large organizations, or ones with complicated processes, could not function well without management systems. Companies in such fields as aerospace, automobiles, defence, or health care devices have been operating management systems for years.
ISO's management system standards make this good management practice available to organizations of all sizes, in all sectors, everywhere in the world.
(Source: International Organization for Standardization )