In the modern agrifood economies, the development of quality management standards is crucial, and food small and medium enterprises (SMEs) usually face difficulties in implementing them. In this context, the aim of the article is two-fold. Firstly it is to craft an original analytical framework in line with the literature on innovation networks and related learning effects specifically devoted to the study of quality management standards implementation. Secondly the objective of the article is to apply this framework to a specific food SME case in order to test it and to identify the key network learning effects that occur during the implementation of a quality management standard, namely the ISO 22000 standard for food safety. From this research, the practical output will be to propose tools to enhance food SMEs’ innovative capacity, through an improvement of their insertion in active formal and/or informal innovation networks. These specific tools will be especially targeted towards the strengthening of learning processes between the SME and the partners involved in the implementation.