Food Ministers protect public health, support industry innovation - 5 May 2006

The eighth meeting of the Australia and New Zealand Food Regulation Ministerial Council was held in Melbourne on 5 May 2006.

Page last updated: 21 November 2016

Print Version - Legislative and Governance Forum on Food Regulation Communique 5 May 2006 (PDF 27 KB)

Australia and New Zealand Food Regulation Ministerial Council


5 May 2006

The eighth meeting of the Australia and New Zealand Food Regulation Ministerial Council was held in Melbourne today, chaired by Christopher Pyne, Parliamentary Secretary to the Australian Government Minister for Health and Ageing.

The Ministerial Council comprises Ministers responsible for food issues in Australia and New Zealand. At the meeting today, the Ministerial Council considered a number of policy issues and projects related to food regulation in Australia and New Zealand, several of which are still in train and will be reported on after the next meeting of the Ministerial Council in October 2006. Decisions made today included:

Country of Origin Labelling

On 8 December 2005, FSANZ gazetted the new country of origin labelling (CoOL) Standard. This Standard will come into full force for unpackaged fruit, vegetables, nuts and seafood products on 8 June 2006, for some unpackaged pork products on 8 December 2006, and for packaged goods on 8 December 2007.

At the direction of the Australian Government, FSANZ undertook an evaluation of a possible extension of CoOL to declaring the origin (or place where grown) of the principal whole food components of products containing two or less fruit and/or vegetables.

The Ministerial Council today considered the report from Food Standards Australia New Zealand on this feasibility study. The study found that the cost of the proposed extension to CoOL would exceed the benefits from its implementation and would not be in the overall interest of Australia. Furthermore it was found that it would harm the horticultural industry, the horticultural processing industry and exports, and the domestic industry would also be harmed in favour of imports of finished products. The FSANZ report can be accessed on the FSANZ website at

The Ministerial Council therefore decided not to further extend the CoOL Standard and noted that the CoOL Standard that they approved in December 2006 would be progressively implemented through 2006 and 2007.

The Council members noted that a new working group established by the Australian Government is being established with membership from the horticulture sector as well as relevant government and food industry representatives.

The working group will develop a voluntary ‘Australian Grown’ labelling scheme, as well as examine provisions in the Trade Practices Act to better reflect the content of packaged food products.

Mandatory Fortification

The Ministerial Council considered advice from FSANZ regarding the timeframes for developing standards for mandatory fortification of food with folic acid and iodine and agreed to make a final decision at their next meeting in October 2006.

Overarching Policy Guideline for Primary Production Standards

The Ministerial Council today approved a revised policy guideline for Primary Production Standards. The revised guideline provides overarching Ministerial guidance for the development of all national primary production and processing standards for food products in Australia.

The guideline, endorsed by all states and territories, and the Australian Government, will ensure that the development of standards for primary production and processing of food products will be consistent across Australia. States and territories will recognise the national standards in their food regulatory legislation.

Primary production and processing standards for various food sectors ensure that food safety is addressed across the entire food chain using minimum effective regulation, and will provide the food production and processing sector with clear statements of its food safety responsibilities. A Primary Production and Processing Standard for Seafood was gazetted on 26 May 2005. The development of Primary Production and Processing Standards for the poultry and dairy sectors is underway, and future work will cover other sectors including eggs, plant products and red meat.

Chair of FSANZ reappointed

The Ministerial Council took pleasure in reappointing the Hon Rob Knowles as Chairman of Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) for another two year term

Media contact: Adam Howard, Media Adviser to Mr Pyne 0400 414 833
Kay McNiece, Media Liaison to Ministerial Council, 0412 132 585
or +61 412 132 585 (NZ)

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