Red meat industry committed to food safety

Minister for food safety, Jo Goodhew (right) and Minister for Science and Innovation Steven Joyce at the launch of the NZ Food Safety Science and Research Centre.

The Meat Industry Association (MIA) is one of four funding partners for the new Food Safety Science and Research Centre (NZFSSRC), launched in May.

The NZFSSRC joins together seven science research partners to form a virtual research centre to be jointly funded by the Government and industry over the next five years.

Science and innovation minister Steven Joyce and Food Safety Minister Jo Goodhew launched the centre at the Manawatu campus of Massey University, alongside the industry funding partners, the Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand, the MIA and Zespri.

The Centre’s role is to promote, coordinate and deliver food safety science and research for all of New Zealand where, according to the Investors Guide to the New Zealand Food and Beverage Industry report issued in November, the top 100 food and beverage firms collectively generate annual revenue of $51 billion.

“The MIA’s support for the centre reflects the red meat industry’s absolute commitment to food safety,” says MIA chief executive Tim Ritchie. “New Zealand’s global reputation for strong food safety outcomes is critically important to the success of the red meat sector. The meat industry already invests in science and research to support and protect this reputation and this collaboration is another example of that.”

The science research collaborators are crown research institutes AgResearch, Environmental Science and Research, Plant and Food Research, as well as the private scientific research organisation, the Cawthron Institute and three universities – the University of Auckland, the University of Otago and Massey, the host institution.

The centre’s board will be independently chaired by biotechnologist and chemical engineer Dr Kevin Marshall, who also chairs the Riddet Institute, a national centre of research excellence based around food science.

“The centre is an important collaboration between Government, industry and researchers right across the value chain,” Dr Marshall says. “It will help to protect and enhance the reputation of food produced by New Zealand, maintain and enhance its exports, increase collective market access and protect public health.”

Funding for the centre will total $4.1 million a year, with industry matching the Government’s commitment of $2.05 million a year.

This article appeared in Food NZ magazine (August/September 2016) and is reproduced here with permission.

 

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