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Fresh produce industry welcomes food safety centre plan

Fresh produce industry welcomes New Zealand Government’s recommendation to establish food safety centre

The Produce Marketing Association Australia and New Zealand (PMA A-NZ), the leading trade association representing companies from every segment of the fresh fruit, vegetable, and floral supply chain, has welcomed an in-principle acceptance by the New Zealand Government of a recommendation to establish a centre of food safety science and research in New Zealand.

The establishment of a food safety centre was one of 29 recommendations released on Wednesday in the Dairy Food Safety Regulatory System report commissioned on the back of investigations into the Fonterra food safety scare, which resulted in New Zealand dairy products being blocked from entering foreign countries.

“A food safety centre in New Zealand will draw attention to the important issue of food safety and traceability preparedness,” CEO of PMA Australia-New Zealand Michael Worthington said today.

“On behalf of our members and the fresh produce value chain, PMA A-NZ is already working to establish an Australian and New Zealand Fresh Produce Safety Centre in conjunction with The University of Sydney's Faculty of Agriculture and Environment,” Mr Worthington said.

“By connecting with fresh produce companies and industry groups across Australia and New Zealand, and with US counterparts such as the Center for Produce Safety at the University of California (Davis) on food safety research and outreach, PMA A-NZ is playing an active role in developing a global, collaborative approach to enhance the safety of the world's fresh produce."

“Assuming that the proposed centre in New Zealand does include fresh produce we would welcome strong trans-Tasman collaboration” Mr Worthington concluded.

PMA A-NZ offers year-round value to the Australian and New Zealand fresh produce industry by representing members on important issues including food safety, traceability and supply chain efficiencies, as well as providing access to relevant information that can assist in a food scare situation.

ends

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