Britain and New Zealand to forge stronger food safety ties

Posted by Isobel Drake on 7th July 2009

A new agreement between the New Zealand Food Safety Authority (NZFSA) and the United Kingdom Food Standards Agency (UKFSA) will see the two nations forge closer ties in regards to food safety.
The two bodies are responsible for protecting consumer interests in relation to food safety and food standards in their respective countries – the equivalent of FSANZ in Australia.

Under the arrangement, NZFSA and the Food Standards Agency will cooperate in areas of mutual interest, such as science, nutrition, and composition and labelling. They will share information and expert networks, and host study tours and staff exchanges.

“NZFSA and the UKFSA have always had a good and productive working relationship, and we have learned a great deal from each other,” NZFSA Chief Executive, Andrew McKenzie, explained. “Close relationships with the world’s other top food safety authorities are integral for NZFSA to achieve its mandate of protecting consumers. The arrangement cements our strong relationship, and provides us with new opportunities to expand it, particularly in the area of science.”

The Food Standards Agency’s CEO, Tim Smith, said the formal recognition of the union would have benefits for both nations.

“This agreement will enable more effective and speedier sharing of information, policy and best practise particularly around emerging issues and food incidents, the science informing our food safety and nutrition work, as well as composition and labelling,” he advised. “In a world where global food production and trade becomes ever more complex, this close working is a major asset in helping us to protect consumers within and across national boundaries, as well as improving the information available.”

NZFSA already has similar agreements with Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) and Health Canada.