Food Safety Minister Nikki Kaye welcomed a food safety agreement signed last week between New Zealand and China to strengthen co-operation in food safety and food quality.
The Food Safety Co-operation Arrangement between the Ministry for Primary Industries(MPI) and the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) was signed in Wellington by the Chinese Vice Minister, Liu Peizhi and MPI deputy director general Carol Barnao.
“This is an important agreement that will be beneficial to both countries,” Kaye says. “It will encourage cooperation and the sharing of knowledge in the fields of food safety, risk management, food standards and regulations.
“The agreement shows commitment and a willingness between New Zealand and China to work together on food safety programmes.
“It will allow MPI and the CFDA to work together to enhance food safety, continually improve our regulatory regimes and enhance the bilateral relationship.”
The agreement will see a Joint Food Safety Commission (JFSC) established to enhance food safety regulatory co-operation.
“The JFSC will allow MPI and the CFDA to meet on an annual basis to help build a better understanding of how our respective food safety systems work. We can identify areas of shared interest and potential new areas of cooperation,” Kaye says.
“The agreement also allows us to formalise our joint interests and is an important step in the evolution of China and New Zealand co-operation in food safety.
“It will further build on the strong relationship that our two countries share, particularly in the agricultural and food sectors.”