Australasia stays ahead of the curve on fresh produce safety
The Australian and New Zealand fresh produce industries joined together on the 11 August 2014 to take proactive steps to further protect this region’s well-earned reputation for producing safe, quality food by committing to a new centre dedicated to investigating and promoting the safety of the fruit and vegetables we eat and export.
Over 120 representatives of the fresh produce industry, regulators and academics attended the launch of the Fresh Produce Safety Centre at a conference at the University of Sydney on 11 August 2014.
The Fresh Produce Safety Conference also explored latest advances in fresh produce research in Australia and New Zealand, and how to extend research findings to those who need to know.
Timothy York, of US-based Markon Cooperative Inc, told conference delegates how the US fresh produce industry joined together to form the Center for Produce Safety in the US in 2008, in response to a food safety issue in leafy greens in the US in 2006.
“Protecting Australia and New Zealand’s reputation for producing and exporting high quality and safe food is vital for both consumers and our industry,” said interim Chairman of the Fresh Produce Safety Centre and CEO of PMA A-NZ, Mr Michael Worthington.
“To minimise the risk of food crises, such as those that have occurred in recent years in Europe and America, our industry has joined together to establish the Fresh Produce Safety Centre. The Centre will enhance fresh produce safety throughout Australia and New Zealand, through research, outreach and education. We have been fortunate never to have experienced a disaster of the same level as overseas and we must do everything possible to prevent that sort of event happening,” Mr Worthington said.
The Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Sydney, Dr Michael Spence, officially launched the Fresh Produce Safety Centre at the conference.
The Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture and Environment at the University of Sydney, Professor Mark Adams said: “The University of Sydney is delighted to host the Fresh Produce Safety Centre: it underlines the University’s continued engagement with industry and our commitment to identifying and addressing fresh produce safety research gaps.”
NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer, Professor Mary O’Kane, also welcomed delegates on behalf of the NSW Government, which sponsored the conference.
For the full program: http://freshproducesafety-anz.com/conference_2014/
The Centre’s supporters are:
Platinum supporters: Coles Supermarkets Australia Pty Ltd | PMA Australia-New Zealand Limited | University of Sydney | Woolworths Ltd
Silver supporters: Freshcare Limited | Harris Farm Markets Pty Ltd | Horticulture New Zealand | Perfection Fresh Australia Pty Ltd | Primo Moraitis Fresh Pty Limited
Bronze supporters: Australian Mango Industry Association (AMIA) | Chamber of Fruit & Vegetable Industries in Western Australia (Inc) | GS1 Australia Ltd | Kalfresh Pty Ltd | Living Foods NZ | MG Marketing Limited and LaManna Limited | Mulgowie Farming Company | OneHarvest Pty Ltd | Premier Fruits Group Pty Ltd | Sci Qual International Pty Ltd | TQA Australia
Establishment of the FPSC has been funded by a HAL project using voluntary contributions from industry and matched funds from the Australian Government.
For further information please contact FPSC interim Executive Director Emma Walters on +61 02 8627 1058 / +61 419 204 454 or interim Chair Michael Worthington, CEO, PMA Australia-New Zealand, on +61 03 8844 5536.