Plans are afoot to merge the New Zealand Food Safety Authority back into the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, 3 years after the risk assessor and risk manager were split out.
Agriculture and biosecurity minister David Carter said the move, expected to be formalised on 1st July and fully integrated from December, will bring benefits to the biological economy and greater oversight of the supply chain.
"It will more closely align some of the key functions supporting the Government's economic growth goals, including sector performance, sustainable development and trade facilitation,” he said. “Our future prosperity depends on the growth and productivity of our primary industries and in meeting international trade requirements for these products."
Formed in 2002 and independent since 2007, NZFSA has shared responsibility for food safety in New Zealand with Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ). NZFSA is responsible for protecting New Zealanders’ health and safety and facilitating commerce and international market access. It ensures food produced, exported and imported by New Zealand is safe, and develops, provides input into FSANZ, implements policy, and represents New Zealand at international fora.
FSANZ, meanwhile, develops food standards for both New Zealand and Australia, taking on board advice from NZFSA and other stakeholders.