New Zealand, China strengthen food safety co-op
WELLINGTON - The food safety regulatory agencies of China and New Zealand on Friday signed an agreement to strengthen cooperation in food safety and quality.
The Food Safety Cooperation Arrangement between New Zealand's Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) was signed in Wellington by CFDA Vice Minister Liu Peizhi and MPI deputy director general Carol Barnao.
The agreement will see the establishment of a Joint Food Safety Commission, which would allow MPI and the CFDA to meet annually to help build a better understanding of how each other's food safety systems worked.
New Zealand Food Safety Minister Nikki Kaye said the agreement would encourage cooperation and the sharing of knowledge in the fields of food safety, risk management, food standards and regulations.
"The agreement shows commitment and a willingness between New Zealand and China to work together on food safety programs," Kaye said in a statement.
"It will allow MPI and the CFDA to work together to enhance food safety, continually improve our regulatory regimes and enhance the bilateral relationship."
The agreement would further build on the strong relationship between the two countries, particularly in the agricultural and food sectors.
The agreement comes in a year which has seen New Zealand food exports to China hammered by MPI export certification bungles and dairy contamination scares, including the false alarm over Fonterra's botulism.