Stakeholder Engagement – Aspirations for the Food Regulation System

Page last updated: 23 November 2020

Australia and New Zealand’s collaborative Food Regulation System (the System) is broadly acknowledged to have produced strong food safety outcomes over the past 20 years. However, expectations of the System have changed over time, including to meet evolving consumer expectations, accommodate industry innovation in a rapidly changing environment and continue to protect public health and safety.

In November 2019, the Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation (the Forum) endorsed an ambitious plan to reform the System to ensure it remains strong, robust and agile into the future.

The reform plan comprises a number of interconnected projects (described in the diagram below). A key component of the reform plan is a staged review of the Food Regulation Agreement (FRA), which provides a foundation for the System and outlines its overarching role, objectives and governance.

Stakeholders are being asked for their views on a set of proposed aspirations and high level actions for the System. These are set out in a paper that is released for consultation across Australia and New Zealand.

The consultation opened on 23 November 2020 and will close at midnight on 22 January 2021. Stakeholders are invited to participate and provide feedback via the Australian Government Department of Health Consultation Hub.

Submissions will be shared, where appropriate, amongst the Government organisations and consultants who are working on these projects given the interconnected nature of the various projects under the broader reform plan.

The outcomes of this consultation will feed into the second stage of the review of the FRA, to clearly set out the objectives, scope and operating environment for the future of the system and provide strategic direction for other reform initiatives (including the Food Standards Australia New Zealand Act 1991 review). Specifically, information from submissions will be used to inform a report to the Forum. The report will not include information identifying individual businesses or organisations without the prior agreement of those businesses or organisations.

The reform agenda is being progressed through a number of interconnected projects: 

Review of the FRA

Stage 1: describe a vision for the food regulatory system to provide strategic direction for reform and feed into Stage 2.
Stage 2: review the FRA to create a new foundational document to underpin the food regulatory system.

Jurisdictional consistency

Identify the key areas of inconsistency in foodregulatory approaches based on the impacts on industry and government.

Operations

Develop and implement new operational processes to support the system’s governance.

FSANZ Act Review

Review the effectiveness of the FSANZ Act and the operations and responsibilities of FSANZ.

These projects are being progressed in parallel to develop a new, best practice regulatory, legislative and operational basis for the system. There will be a number of opportunities for stakeholders to provide input to this reform agenda throughout its development and implementation.

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