Quality management systems and coffee quality in small scale coffee sub-sector in Kenya
Quality management systems are developed for use as a management technique to communicate to employees what is required to produce desired quality of products and services and to influence employees‟ actions to complete tasks according to the quality specifications. The Kenyan coffee competes on global market on its unique quality. The sector therefore is always under pressure to produce coffee that will attract a premium price. This research study focused on the small scale coffee subsector as it accounts for more than a half of the total coffee production in Kenya. Well managed quality management systems have the potential of transforming operational performance of an organization. The objectives of the study were to establish the quality management systems in use by the cooperative societies in the small scale coffee subsector, to determine extent of quality Management systems adoption by the cooperative societies in the small scale coffee subsector and to establish the impact of adopted quality management systems on coffee quality. The study was carried out through a descriptive study of 20 coffee cooperative societies in Nyeri County. Questionnaires were used to collect primary data. The collected data was analysed using descriptive statistics while regression analysis technique was used to establish the relationship between the dependent and independent variables. The research findings were presented in figures and tables. The findings indicated that the small scale subsector is majorly using internal quality management systems and ISO9001:2008 quality management system. However, the extent of adoption of the quality management systems is very minimal. Further, the findings indicated a strong relationship between the extent of adoption of the quality management system, various quality management systems and coffee quality. The main conclusion was that there is no commitment by the cooperatives to using QMS in achieving coffee quality. The researcher recommends that more sensitization on the potential impact of QMS on coffee quality should be done in the subsector.