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MAF Verification Agency joins NZFSA

MAF Verification Agency joins New Zealand Food Safety Authority

From July 1 the MAF Verification Agency will become part of the New Zealand Food Safety Authority. It will be called the New Zealand Food Safety Authority Verification Agency (NZFSAVA).

The move is a positive step for both the agency and NZFSA, both of which are within the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, and need to be closely aligned as part of providing coherent and seamless certification for exports of animal products. Both these components of the New Zealand food export programme have worked closely together since NZFSA was set up two years ago, with head offices at the same Wellington location.

Andrew McKenzie, Executive Director of NZFSA said: ‘Over the two years NZFSA has been in existence we have made very good progress in establishing our identity and credibility with New Zealand's trading partners. The VA is a critical link in the chain that enables us to provide assurances to importing countries. Integrating it with NZFSA and more closely aligning the functions will strengthen that link.’

The VA plays a key role in maintaining the integrity of New Zealand’s food safety programmes. It is the food safety assurance delivery component of NZFSA for exports of animal products and provides evaluation, verification and certification services to the by-products, cold storage, dairy, domestic and export meat, game and seafood processing sectors.

Steve Gilbert, General Manager of the VA said: ‘By coming under NZFSA’s umbrella, the VA will be able to build on the already close relationship we have formed.

‘This move will let the integrated agency deliver a seamless service to industry and place NZFSA in a better position to add further value.’

New signage and a new logo, incorporating the VA’s distinctive tick in the NZFSA logo, will reflect the new partnership.

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