New Zealand Seeks Export Reform at International Dairy Conference

5 April 2002

New Zealand will be putting the case for a more up-dated approach to dairy product export assurances at an international conference setting standards for dairy assurances being held in Wellington from 8 to 12 April.

The Codex Committee on Milk and Milk Products will consider drafts of standards for milk products as well as a model export certificate for milk products.

The committee is part of the Codex Alimentarus Commission – an international agency set up by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Codex aims to protect the health of consumers and promote fair practices in the food trade by setting international food standards for commodities such as fruit, fish, meat and dairy production as well as guidelines for related processes. These guidelines include food safety risk analysis, labelling, inspection and certification.

About 140 international government delegates and representatives of non-governmental organisations will be at the conference to discuss a variety of standards for milk products.

The conference will be chaired by MAF Food Assurance Authority Director (Programme Development) Steve Hathaway.

Dr Hathaway says this is a significant conference for New Zealand dairy exporters and producers.

He says discussions over how to simplify and harmonise assurance certificates for dairy products will be high on the agenda.

"Currently each country has its own set of assurances certificates that an exporter must meet in order for their product to cross the border. MAF holds a library of hundreds of customised export certificates. We believe that a single certificate template would provide the same level of assurance but would cut out a lot of red-tape, thereby making it simpler and easier to trade."

Dr Hathaway says that while the job of having to provide those individual assurances to our trading partners falls on the MAF Food Assurance Authority, the real burden lies with producers, who have to supply us with the information to back up those customised assurances.

"This is a costly, time-consuming and we believe, unnecessary burden to exporters."

He says that New Zealand also stands to gain from discussions on a minimum protein level in the general cheese standard, if international agreement can be reached on a realistic level, which could mean no minimum. This will help to preserve New Zealand's access to our markets for cheese.


The Codex Committee on Milk and Milk Products will be held at the Grand Ballroom, Duxton Hotel, Wellington, April 8-12 2002. To contact delegates and speakers during the sessions Tel. Cindy Newman, 04-473-3900 or 021-333-149. For other information contact MAF Communications Tel. 04-498-9816.



Last Updated: 06 October 2010

Contact MPI

for general enquiries phone

0800 00 83 33