Memorandum of Understanding signed by standards bodies

Monday, 20 March, 2006

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed by Standards Australia and Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) to work closer in developing food standards in Australia.

Mr Graham Peachey, chief executive officer of FSANZ and Mr John Tucker, chief executive officer of Standards Australia signed the MoU.

Mr Peachey said, at the signing ceremony in Canberra, that work in food standards setting sometimes overlapped the broader standards work of Standards Australia.

"We've seen some important collaborative work in the last 12 months between the two organisations."

"An example of this is the standardisation of fish naming, although it was not a food safety issue both FSANZ and Standards Australia worked closely with the seafood industry to finalise a general standard for uniform fish names in 2006. This standard will ensure the seafood industry uses standard names for fish, which often vary from state to state, and it will help prevent consumer confusion.

"Consumers and organic growers are also interested in uniform accreditation for organic food. Once again, this isn't a safety issue for inclusion in the Food Standards Code but it is under consideration as a future Australian Standard on Organics and biodynamic produce by Standards Australia," Mr Peachey said.

Mr Tucker said the agreement builds on the positive relationship Standards Australia has shared with FSANZ over many years.

"This is an important agreement that will strengthen ties between the peak food standards developers in Australia and will lead to the development of integrated food standards.

"This is an example of the closer stakeholder relations that we will be establishing in many fields under our new business model.

Under the memorandum of understanding the two organisations will:

  • work together on standard setting and other joint activities;
  • provide expertise on each other's technical committees;
  • work together to ensure there is no overlap between the work of the two agencies; and
  • share information related to food industry and consumers needs.
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