Food Safety Forum focuses on future trade


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A Food Safety Forum hosted by the New Zealand Food Safety College (NZFSC) and the China Food Information Centre has focused on issues relating to the export of dairy products to China.

Sponsored by Cowala Infant Formula, the China and New Zealand International Food Safety Forum held in Auckland, was attended by a host of international delegates including Jamestrong Packaging Australia and New Zealand Key Account Manager Christine Slade, Infant Nutrition Council of Australia & New Zealand CEO Jan Carey, and New Zealand Minister for Food Safety, David Bennett.

Major Chinese Government officials included Director General of the Chinese Food and Drug Administration (CFDA), Mr Zhang Jing, Vice Director General of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of the People's Republic of China (AQSIQ), Mr Wang Hongbing and the Vice Division Director of the Certification and Accreditation Administration of the People's Republic of China (CNCA), Mr Lu Chao.

The forum discussed the maintenance of high quality standards and CNCA licences that are required for manufacturers to export infant formula (IF) to China, with the changes coming into effect in Jan 2018, and brand registrations required for manufacturers by the CFDA.

NZFSC General Manager Marjana Pavlovic said that - just like its counterpart, the CFIC in China - the NZFSC was established to exchange technical and regulatory training with other countries.

She said the increased variety and strictness of Chinese food safety regulations meant international trading was receiving greater attention from different food industries.

Issues included food safety control of China's infant formula industry, New Zealand's regulatory requirements for infant formula exports to China, regulation of China's imported dairy products and policies for dairy industry regulation, and the introduction of a Chinese infant formula milk powder standard.

Jamestrong Key Account Manager Christine Slade said the forum had a strong focus on food safety for dairy products imported into China to ensure the safety of infants.

"The forum was a fantastic vehicle for deepening the understanding of different countries' food safety regulations and manufacturing practices. It helped clarify and develop understanding of current regulations and legislation and future directions," Ms Slade said.

"It was clear from the forum that Australia and New Zealand are seen by China as premium dairy regions and we need to keep the focus on very high-quality food safety standards."

Infant Nutrition Council (INC) CEO Jan Carey said its members - including Jamestrong Packaging - are responsible for over 95 per cent of the volume of infant formula manufactured, sold in Australia and New Zealand and exported.

"The safety of global food supply chains can only be assured by the integrity of the industries they service," Ms Carey said.

"The overall out-take from the presentation messaging was that food safety is of paramount importance to both the NZ and Chinese governments and the infant formula industry."

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