Pacific partners discuss food safety trends

Department of Agriculture and Water Resources

Representatives from New Zealand, Fiji and Vanuatu visited Australia recently to discuss the latest developments in agriculture, food safety systems and opportunities for cooperation.

Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Deputy Secretary, David Hazlehurst, said the visit from Pacific delegates was an opportunity to further strengthen good relationships with Australia’s neighbours.

“Australia is partnering with neighbouring Pacific countries to collaborate on issues relating to them on the international stage,” Mr Hazlehurst said.

“Our visitors participated virtually alongside us as a group in the 82nd session of the Executive Committee of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, or CCEXE82.

“Codex is the international food standards setting body, and Codex Australia works with stakeholders both here and internationally to contribute to consumer food safety.

“The Executive Committee is responsible for the strategic direction of the Codex Alimentarius Commission and for critically reviewing draft standards before they are adopted.

“CCEXE82 was a chance to discuss the latest issues and trends in food safety and standard setting, including new foods like lab-grown meat, learning from the pandemic and risk management processes.

“Australia has strong relationships with our neighbours in the Pacific and this was a great opportunity to meet face-to-face and share ideas for future collaboration.”

Discussions included ideas for celebrating next year’s 60th anniversary of Codex and for the Pacific Week of Agriculture to be held in Fiji from 12-16 September 2022.

To find out more, visit Codex – International Food Standards.

Fast Facts:

  • Pacific representatives were:
    • Vanuatu: (Timothy) Tekon Tumukon – CEO, Vanuatu Primary Producers Authority (Codex Regional Member for the Southwest Pacific)
    • Fiji: Dr Vinesh Kumar, Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Agriculture (Codex Regional Coordinator for North America and the Southwest Pacific), and Susana Tuivuya – Principal Economic Planning Officer (Ministry of Agriculture) (Supporting the Codex Regional Coordinator for North America and the Southwest Pacific)
    • New Zealand: Lisa Ralph – Senior Policy Analyst, Ministry for Primary Industries (advisor to the Codex Member for the South West Pacific)
    • Australia: Scott Mersch, A/g Director of Codex, Export Standards Branch, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (advisor to the Codex Member for the South West Pacific).

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