The current domestic food regulatory system has been operating since 1 July 2002. The system aims to:
- Protect public health and safety.
- Allow consumers to make informed choices about food.
- Support a strong and sustainable food industry.
The Forum’s membership includes:
- Ministers from the Australian government and New Zealand,
- health ministers from Australian state and territory governments, and
- other ministers from related portfolios (primary industries, consumer affairs etc) where nominated by their jurisdictions.
Food standards apply to all foods produced or imported for sale in Australia and New Zealand.
In Australia, food standards cover the whole supply chain – from paddock to plate – for both the food manufacturing industry and primary producers.
Standards take into account Forum policy guidelines and internationally recognised Codex Alimentarius
Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ)
FSANZ’s primary role is to develop and amend Australian and New Zealand food standards within the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (the code).
After approving or varying standards, FSANZ then notifies the Forum, which can reject, amend or seek a review of the standard.
Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code
The code is given legal force through Commonwealth, state and territory and New Zealand food legislation and covers:
- general food standards (including labelling and genetically modified food),
- specific food product standards, and
- Australian food safety standards.
The Australian states and territories, and the New Zealand Government, are responsible for enforcing the code.