The Food Ministers’ Meeting members are the decision makers in the system. The Food Ministers’ Meeting signs off on all food standards and can also request that a draft standard be developed, reviewed, amended or rejected. Prior to 2021, the Food Ministers’ Meeting was known as the Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation (or Forum).
Food Ministers' Meeting membership is designed to reflect the whole-of-food chain approach to food regulation. Members include the following:
- Minister from New Zealand
- Ministers from the Australian Government
- Health Ministers from the Australian states and territories
- Ministers from related portfolios (Primary Industries, Consumer Affairs) where they have been nominated by their jurisdictions
- The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA), who participates as an observer.
The Food Ministers’ Meeting has 2 distinct roles as a decision maker. It must carry out its responsibilities as outlined above, and also is required to be the system arbitrator. To do this, the Food Ministers’ Meeting must balance food regulation in the bi-national interest with potentially competing views from consumers, from industry and from itself.
Wherever possible, the Food Ministers’ Meeting makes its decisions by consensus. If this is not possible, matters are resolved by voting. Each of the 10 governments has 1 vote, and 6 votes are required for a decision. Each jurisdiction has a lead Minister for voting purposes.
The Food Ministers’ Meeting chaired by a Minister with responsibility for the Australian Government Health portfolio. The Food Ministers’ Meeting is required to meet face-to-face at least once every calendar year.
The Food Ministers’ Meeting is supported by the Food Regulation Standing Committee (FRSC), a senior officials committee that provides policy advice to the Food Ministers’ Meeting. The Food Regulation Secretariat provides secretariat services to the Food Ministers’ Meeting and its sub-committees.