Minister Goodhew on food safety visit to China

Minister for Food Safety, the Hon Jo Goodhew.

NZ and China scholarships have been extended, relationships with key officials strengthened and a new dairy facility has been opened during a food safety visit for Minister Goodhew.

Food Safety Minister Goodhew’s latest announcement is for a two year extension for a scholarship programme that is deepening engagement between New Zealand and China, while boosting mutual understanding of each other’s food safety systems.

The scholarship programme was developed in partnership between New Zealand’s Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA). It was the first initiative under the Food Safety Cooperation Agreement signed between New Zealand and China in November 2013.

“To date, 13 officials from CFDA have participated in the programme. Given its success, we see value in extending this scholarship programme for a further two years.”

The scholarship covers best practice regulation, risk management, food processing and design, and the development and implementation of food standards. It has an academic component led by Massey University, which is supported by applied learning through study tours and internships.

“This scholarship not only increases the understanding of our respective food safety systems, it also helps to strengthen the relationships between the two countries and help to align food safety practices,” says Goodhew.

“China is a very important trading partner for New Zealand and we’ve established a relationship based on trust, respect and New Zealand’s well-earned reputation as a producer of high quality and safe food.

“The two year extension of this scholarship programme will further enhance the close cooperation between our countries, resulting in a stronger bilateral relationship in the areas of food safety and consumer confidence,” she says.

Aim for better communication and cooperation

While in Beijing, Minister Goodhew, who is also associate Minister for Primary Industries, met with the CDFA’s vice-minister Teng Jiacai for the third Joint Food Safety Commission meeting, to build upon the shared goal for increased communication and cooperation between the two countries.

She is also meeting vice-minister Mei Kebao of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ), and with Minister Zhang Jianlong of the State Forestry Administration.

“As one of our largest trading partners, it is important that we work with China to maintain and improve access for New Zealand goods and services, and I look forward to making good progress during my visit,” Goodhew says.

In Shanxi Province, Goodhew will attend the official opening of the Fonterra Ying County Breeding Hub. The facility, which has up to 30,000 cows, 16,000 of which are milking cows, employs 90 percent local people and sources 85 percent of its feed from the local area.

“The new Breeding Hub in Shanxi Province is a significant investment by a New Zealand company, and is a big opportunity to boost the local economy with some Kiwi know-how,” she says.

Minister Goodhew will return to New Zealand on Friday 16 September.

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