MPI launches food safety strategy

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MPI launches food safety strategy

12 Dec 2019 | ExportNZ

MPI launches food safety strategy

On the 10th of December New Zealand Food Safety, a division of MPI, launched its strategy and action plan to maintain and grow the country's reputation as a provider of trusted and safe food. I attended the launch in Auckland and the key takeaways can be found below:

New Zealand is currently placed well globally, and demand for New Zealand products are high despite an increase in uncertainty of global trading systems. New Zealand produces enough food to feed 50 million people, this demand is expected to grow.

However, there are a new set of challenges emerging. MPI has identified the top challenges and opportunities as being:

  • Pressures on production
  • Growing Maori influence and economic success
  • Consumer expectations, needs and demands
  • New technology and innovation
  • Climate change.

The vision for New Zealand food safety is that New Zealand produces food that can be trusted and recognised by everyone, everywhere. A well-functioning food safety system is an essential part of the production and sale of food. Maintaining and growing New Zealand’s reputation as a provider of safe and sustainable food is at the core of this strategy.

This strategy outlines five priorities that look to better position New Zealand Food Safety for the future:

  • We will ensure New Zealand’s world class food safety system remains robust
  • We will proactively support consumers to make informed food choices
  • We will actively contribute to new thinking in international forum
  • We will work in genuine partnership with Māori
  • We will be innovative and forward-looking in meeting new challenges.

The aim of the strategy is to “strike an even balance between delivering good results today and acting on opportunities that will deliver better results tomorrow”.

There is an appetite to create more harmonised international standards to help to ease regulatory burdens for New Zealand food producers. The action plan released on December 10th includes increased engagement with overseas governments and international standard setting authorities to ensure that New Zealand’s interests are best reflected in international standards. MPI is looking to prioritise their involvement with leadership opportunities in Codex and the Food and Agriculture Organisation as the basis of New Zealand food safety standard setting and review programme. A set of performance measures and reporting framework will be publicly released for New Zealand food safety with a focus on regulatory aspects of food safety and suitability. Furthermore, there will be an opportunity for businesses to co-design solutions that are fit-for-purpose and address compliance barriers.  This work is set to run through until 2024.

If you are interested in influencing the strategy, please let us know through the email below and we will connect you with the right people.

A link to the full strategy and action plan can be found here.

Josie Hehir
Policy advisor
ExportNZ

jhehir@businessnz.org.nz