Minister for Food Safety Meka Whaitiri will attend the Fourth Australia and New Zealand Food Ministers’ Meeting in Melbourne on Friday.
It will be the first time the meeting has been held in person since the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted international travel.
“The Food Ministers’ Meeting sets the policy direction for the Australia New Zealand Food Regulation System (the Joint System), which ensures smooth trade between the two countries,” Meka Whaitiri said.
“The meeting is also an opportunity for Ministers to approve new food standards developed by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), which ensures the food production systems in both countries remain relevant and fit for purpose.”
The Food Ministers’ Meeting will be chaired by Australia’s Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care, Hon Ged Kearney, and also includes the Ministers responsible for food regulation from the Australian States and Territories.
“I had the opportunity to meet with Hon Ged Kearney earlier this year via Zoom and am looking forward to being able to meet face to face to discuss how our two countries can work together in the interests of food safety.
“I am also keen to discuss how indigenous culture and food knowledge can be utilised to strengthen the food regulation system between our two countries,” Meka Whaitiri said.
Minister Whaitiri and Assistant Minister Kearney will also hold a bilateral meeting on Friday, alongside the Food Ministers’ Meeting.
Minister Whaitiri will return to New Zealand on Friday evening.