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Food safety hot topic of conference

Protecting New Zealand’s reputation as a trusted supplier of food is the theme of the inaugural conference of the New Zealand Food Safety Authority.

The conference, “Building and Maintaining Confidence in New Zealand Food” is being held at the Stamford Plaza Hotel in Auckland on 25 and 26 March and is shaping up to be an interesting and exciting event.

“Food safety is an issue on the mind of a lot of people at present because of recent events so our conference is quite timely. It is a complex and diverse issue and we are very much looking forward to a stimulating and lively conference,” NZFSA director Sandra Daly said. “New Zealand already has a reputation as a trusted supplier of food and we want to keep it that way. At this conference we’ll be looking at how we can do that, how the industry can play its part and just what threats there are to food safety. We’ll debate and discuss the issue of food safety right through the food chain, basically from the paddock to the plate,” Mrs Daly said.

“We have a vast range of speakers including Louis Carson from the US Food and Drug Administration and Sue Dibbs from the National Consumer Council in the United Kingdom. Local speakers include Dick Hubbard of Hubbards Foods, Tom Lambie from Federated Farmers, and former CEO of Trade New Zealand Fran Wilde.”

The conference will be officially opened by Minister for Food Safety Annette King with a speech about ‘Food, Consumers and New Zealand’s reputation’. She will be followed by Fran Wilde with a speech about ‘Trade in a Demanding World’.

Mr Carson will speak about new US requirements in response to bioterrorism and we’ll look at New Zealand’s response to threats to US trade. Dr Greg Simmons will talk about the Foodsafe Partnership and its role in educating the public about food safety in the home.

“The core business of the NZFSA is not forgotten and there’ll be discussion on our Science Strategy, a Strategic Review of New Zealand’s Imported Foods Programme as well as workshops on food labelling, dairy, animal products and agricultural compounds and veterinary medicines.”

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