Purpose – Table grape is one of the most important horticultural crops in China. However, quality and safety have become major constraints for the further development of the Chinese table grape industry, which is dominated by small-scale vinegrowers. Strategic partnership has been regarded as an effective mechanism to manage the supply chain. The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of a supply chain model based on different strategic partnerships on the effect of safety and quality control and small-scale vinegrowers’ performance. Design/methodology/approach – The field survey was performed in seven representative districts in China, including Inner Mongolia, Gansu, Tianjin, Liaoning, Shandong, Jiangsu and Zhejiang Provinces. A semi-structured interview was adopted as the data collection method. Both quantitative and qualitative data were generated and analyzed in this research. All quantitative analyses were conducted using EXCEL 2003 version and a comparative analysis was conducted to test the hypotheses. Findings – The results show that modern supply chains are more efficient than the traditional one in improving the effect of safety and quality control and small-scale vinegrowers’ performance. Originality/value – This paper first identified different models of table grape supply chain based on different strategic partnerships, and then analyzed the impact of supply chain model on the effect of quality and safety control and small-scale vinegrowers’ performance. It concludes with some policy suggestions relative to further development of the table grape industry in China.