The responsibility for having safe food on our plates is shared by everyone included in the food chain, from farmer to consumer. The main responsibility lies with all those who produce, process or sell food, while the government provides for adequate legislation and inspection services. However, although safety is a prerequisite for food quality, this is far from sufficient. The concept of quality covers the whole range of properties and characteristics of food. Namely, important features are the external quality or appearance (size, weight, shape, colour, taste, smell, freshness, absence of external defects), the internal or nutritional and physiological quality (content of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals, proportion of ingredients and digestibility) and the useful value (suitability for trade and food industry, possibility of transport and storage, colour stability, durability of ingredients).
Quality can further be considered in a broader context, since the food people buy affects the environment, the global economic distribution of goods, the jobs and rural settlements and, last but not least, their emotions and well-being.
Consumers are increasingly aware of this. They want to buy safe products, they are interested in traditional and original production processes and they attach increasing importance to environmentally friendly production methods. Quality policy helps in adapting production to market needs. As this affects supply and demand, it benefits producers and processors as well as consumers. Traditional Slovenian food can be a matter of national pride.