Dairy companies association commits to working with Government to maintain New Zealand – dairy food safety leadership

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The Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand (DCANZ) says it looks forward to working with the Government on the recommendations of the Government Inquiry into the Whey Protein Concentrate Contamination Incident.

“Significantly this report released today confirms that New Zealand’s regulatory systems for dairy food safety are world leading. It also importantly sets out a path for New Zealand to maintain that leadership into the future,” says DCANZ Executive Director Kimberly Crewther.

“We agree that there needs to be clear focus on building the food science and human capability that maintains this leading edge for New Zealand. The Government is committing $8-12 million in new investment per annum, including funding for four new Ministry for Primary Industries positions in China and six in other important emerging markets. That’s great news,”

she says. She says the association is also supportive of a working group being established to develop a strategic plan focused on dairy technical skills training, a centre for food safety science as well as a new Food Safety and Assurance Advisory Council. There will also be a focus on simplifying food law.

“The regulations that New Zealand dairy exporters operate under are comprehensive, but also complex, with the tertiary layer of regulations running to more than 12,000 pages. Simplification and streamlining will benefit all involved,” says Ms Crewther.

“These are all positive developments that will support New Zealand dairy exporters going forward. As an industry, dairy contributes one in every four dollars New Zealand earns from export trade, and that is underpinned by our reputation for high quality and safe products. We need to work together to protect that competitive advantage.”

DCANZ also supports the need for increased collaboration between all organisations.

“As the report recommends, it’s about getting that engagement right at both the technical and strategic level. That is critical,” says Ms Crewther.

DCANZ represents companies accounting for more than 95 percent of New Zealand dairy production and exports. It is also a party to the industry strategy Making Dairy Farming Work for Everyone of which research, talented people and product integrity are key themes.

“The importance of these themes does not end at the farm gate. DCANZ looks forward to also partnering with Government as the new funding supports improved outcomes across these themes for the broader dairy supply chain,” she says.

For further information contact:
Kimberly Crewther, Executive Director
Tel: 04 471 6902

About DCANZ :

The Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand (DCANZ) was formed in July 2003 to co-ordinate and represents the collective public policy interests of its member dairy companies. Its members comprise , Tatua Co-operative Dairy Company Limited, Westland Milk Products, Fonterra Brands (NZ) Ltd, Goodman Fielder Ltd, Synlait Milk Limited, Open Country Dairies Ltd, Miraka Ltd, Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited, Gardians and Dairy Goat Co-operative.