In March 2020, the Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation (the Forum) endorsed an implementation plan for an ambitious reform agenda for the Food Regulation System (the System) aimed at ensuring the System remains strong, robust and agile into the future. The reform agenda is being progressed through a number of interconnected projects:
- Review of the Food Regulation Agreement – Stage 1 of this project is to describe a vision for the future of the food regulatory system to provide strategic direction for reform and feed into Stage 2. Stage 2 is a review of the Food Regulation Agreement (FRA) to create a new foundational document to underpin the System.
- Jurisdictional Consistency – this project will identify key areas of inconsistency in food regulatory approaches based on the impacts on industry and government.
- Operations Review – this project will develop and implement new operational processes to support the System’s governance.
Separately, but in close collaboration, the Australian Government is undertaking a review of the Food Standards Australia New Zealand Act 1991 (FSANZ Act).
The consultation was released in Australia and New Zealand on 6 November 2020 and closed on 18 December 2020.
The consultation was part of the Jurisdictional Consistency project. The consultation process sought stakeholder advice on inconsistency in food regulation approaches and the impacts of this on businesses and regulatory outcomes. Stakeholder advice was also sought on areas of duplication and opportunities to improve synergies between the System and related regulatory systems (such as consumer affairs, biosecurity, agriculture, therapeutic goods, etc.).
Submissions for the consultation were made through the Australian Government Department of Health Consultation Hub.