New Zealand Food Safety will today launch its strategy and action plan to maintain and grow the country's reputation as a provider of trusted and safe food.
Deputy director-general New Zealand Food Safety Bryan Wilson will discuss the strategy along with the range of challenges and opportunities facing New Zealand's food safety system at the organisation's inaugural Food Safety Summit in Auckland.
"Food is the backbone of our economy, but it's much more than that," Mr Wilson says.
"We grow it, produce it, prepare it, and share it with friends and whānau. It helps define who we are as a country.
"The strategy recognises the central place of food and sets out a plan of action to 2024 and 5 priorities to:
- ensure New Zealand's world-class food safety system remains robust
- proactively support consumers to make informed food choices
- actively contribute to new thinking in international forums
- work in genuine partnership with Māori
- be innovative and forward-looking in meeting new challenges.
"It's important that our strategy is dynamic and forward-thinking. It's the beginning of a lot more work to ensure we are keeping pace with changing consumer expectations, complex food supply chains, and constantly evolving science.
"Reducing foodborne illness will always be New Zealand Food Safety's core business. The strategy allows us to look at that work in a wider context so we can do our part in achieving the vision that New Zealand food is trusted and recognised by everyone, everywhere.
"We tested the strategy extensively with our Treaty partners as well as consumers, customers, co-regulators and industry representatives. I was pleased to see that the vision and direction in the strategy were largely supported - that means we share common goals with the partners we need to make the strategy a success.
"The strategy will help us to focus our resources on what's important so that we can respond quickly to current issues, predict, and prepare for emerging threats.
"It's important to note that the strategy and action plan is not an end, but a beginning. We will be actively monitoring and reviewing our progress every year.
"The good news is that New Zealand's food already enjoys an excellent reputation at home and with our trading partners. We have an exciting future ahead to build on those solid foundations."
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Note: New Zealand Food Safety is part of the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).