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Corporate Plan 2017–18

(July 2017)

Download our Corporate Plan 2017-18 (pdf 16678 kb)

Foreword

FSANZ Corporate Plan thumb.pngThis corporate plan is being produced at a particularly important time for the food regulation system and provides a welcome opportunity for FSANZ to support food regulation more strongly by focussing its efforts on reducing foodborne illness, supporting public health initiatives and maintaining a robust and agile food regulation system—the priorities identified by the Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation. This focus will advance our vision to play a greater leadership role in the food regulation system.

 

The recent appointments of a new Board Chair; new CEO and several new Board members is also being taken as an opportunity for FSANZ, in consultation with key stakeholders, to review its activities and to examine how it can make a greater contribution across the food regulation systems in both Australia and New Zealand.

 

The reduction of foodborne illness is a principal purpose of food standards and the Forum’s focus on major pathogens will enhance our contribution to that outcome and build confidence in the food supply.

 

FSANZ already has a record of protecting public health objectives beyond the provision of safe food. The ministerial priorities will help us to sharpen our work in this area. It has already been identified that a major area of work for FSANZ will be to review risk management policies to include consideration of longer term health outcomes, such as obesity and overweight.

 

Finally, the priorities give us an incentive to review more regularly and diligently the efficacy of food standards. We need to ensure that food standards remain fit for purpose in a changing environment with regard to the needs of consumers and food businesses alike.

 

We look forward to working with all of our stakeholders to continue to examine how FSANZ can enhance its role within the system.

 

Robyn Kruk AM

FSANZ Board Chair

 

Mark Booth

FSANZ Chief Executive Officer
 

FSANZ’s purpose

 

The primary role of government in food regulation is the protection of public health and safety, and the principal object of the cooperative food regulatory system is to ensure a high standard of public health protection in Australia and New Zealand. A proactive approach to the protection of public health and safety builds consumer confidence and supports a robust food industry.

 

Food Standards Australia New Zealand’s (FSANZ) purpose contributes to food regulation. Our purpose is to develop evidence-based standards; provide evidence-based advice to regulators and coordinate regulatory responses; and provide information about food standards.

 

FSANZ’s purpose achieves four goals for the food regulatory system:

  • a high degree of consumer confidence in the quality and safety of food
  • an effective, transparent and accountable regulatory framework in which the food industry can work efficiently
  • the provision of adequate information in relation to food to enable consumers to make informed choices, and
  • the establishment of common rules for Australia and New Zealand and the promotion of consistency between domestic and international food regulatory measures without reducing safeguards applying to public health and consumer protection.

FSANZ is established by the Food Standards Australia New Zealand Act 1991 and is managed by a Board appointed by the Australian Government. 

Developing evidence-based standards

FSANZ’s main function is to develop food standards that protect public health and safety in a way that also supports the food industry, using the best available scientific evidence. This function is supported by a high level of consultation and transparency. When developing standards FSANZ applies an awareness of contemporary public health issues, emerging technologies and current and emerging community interests.

This year, FSANZ will continue work on revision of standards for novel foods and nutritive substances. We will also commence reviews of Chapters 3 and 4 of the Food Standards Code (food safety requirements and primary production and processing standards) and of the standard for food produced using gene technology.

Providing evidence-based advice and coordinating regulatory responses

Post-market control measures, such as incident response, recalls or surveillance and monitoring are important in minimising harmful effects and maintaining confidence in the food supply. They help to ensure that regulatory and non-regulatory activities achieve their objectives.

In this year, FSANZ will continue to perform an important coordination function in the food regulatory system, bringing government agencies, industry, consumer and public health representatives together when necessary.

This year we will work with food regulators to develop policies to reduce the levels of foodborne illness. We will develop an enhanced evidence-based framework to assess risks from imported foods. We will also undertake work to engage industry and the community more effectively in response activities.

Providing information about food standards

FSANZ will maintain its unique and high level capability to build consumer confidence by collecting evidence and providing advice about food standards, food composition and consumption. High quality information is fundamental for assuring the nutritional safety of food and for ensuring that approvals for adding substances to food are well within recognised safety limits.

FSANZ will be an active participant and, as appropriate, a leader of domestic and international food-related policy development and the advancement of food-related knowledge. We will seek  review and comment on our work from peers from around Australia, New Zealand and internationally.

This year we will work with food regulators to better explain the role of food labelling. This work will help build industry compliance and consumer awareness and enhance confidence in labelling as a source of information about food safety and quality.

Our environment and strategic intent

The operating context

Food regulation is a shared responsibility of national (Australia and New Zealand) and state and territory governments. Those governments have recently identified the overarching priorities of the joint food regulatory system as:

  • reducing foodborne illness, particularly in relation to Campylobacter and salmonella
  • supporting public health initiatives, to support the reduction of chronic disease related to obesity
    and overweight
  • maintaining a strong, robust and agile food regulation system; giving confidence to consumers that food is safe and that the system can manage new and innovative industry approaches.

The food regulation environment is complex and dynamic and is affected by a broad range of external influences, such as:

  • increasing globalisation of the food supply chain and consequential demand for more sophisticated traceability mechanisms and supply chain intelligence
  • a desire for reduced regulation replaced by increased recognition of international standards and industry codes of practice and enhanced scrutiny of regulatory proposals
  • technological innovation, which brings changes in food production techniques and types of foods offered for sale
  • the proliferation of ‘real time’ information about food and the opportunities and threats this poses for maintaining consumer confidence in the safety and quality of food
  • the prevalence of lifestyle diseases, such as obesity he prevalence of lifestyle diseases, such as obesity
  • an ongoing need for government agencies to focus on efficiencies and effectiveness in a budget-constrained environment.

In 2017–18 our internal strategic environment will also be shaped by significant changes in the Board membership, including the recent appointments of the Chair and the Chief Executive Officer.

The FSANZ Board has identified five strategic themes that address our purpose, complement the food regulatory system’s priorities and respond to fast moving external drivers. The themes will ensure our effective contribution to food related policy, enhance our stakeholder engagement and better anticipate risk.

Trusted policy advisersstrengthen FSANZ’s role in the contemporary food regulatory system as a trusted source of advice on food and a leader in its areas of expertise; be an active participant in developing non-regulatory options to manage risks related to food; and contribute to the development of broader food policy by promoting the use of scientific evidence in policy development.

Trusted expert advisersestablish the agency as a trusted and coherent interpreter of information related to food composition and safety by building on FSANZ’s core strengths of scientific/ technical excellence and custodian of food-related data and information.

Building relationshipsestablish a better understanding of emerging risks and practical risk mitigation options by building on FSANZ’s established relationships with networks of trusted experts and international counterparts.

Deepening engagementdeepen FSANZ’s engagement with stakeholders and improving responsiveness. FSANZ will review its Communication and Stakeholder Engagement Strategy in the context of broader work underway in the food regulatory system to strengthen the involvement of stakeholders in the development of policy, standards and implementation. FSANZ will also explore ways to engage with stakeholders that have been traditionally hard to reach.

Achieving efficiency and effectivenessFSANZ must operate in the most effective and efficient manner to deliver its contribution to food regulation within its budget. Effectiveness and efficiency demand a rigorous focus on our purpose and a tight control of spending.

Key enablers of our performance

Risk—our ability to look forward and respond quickly to emerging risk

In a world in which food risks can emerge quickly or advances in knowledge or innovation can change our understanding of a hazard, FSANZ has to be able to respond promptly and
proportionately.

The FSANZ Risk Management Framework aims to ensure that FSANZ staff can effectively identify, monitor and respond to food safety and food-related public health issues in a transparent and coordinated manner that applies internationally recognised risk analysis methodology. In day-to-day operations FSANZ also manages this risk using an emerging risk framework and through strategic communication activities.

Science—capability, evidence and collaboration

FSANZ’s Science Strategy aims to build scientific capability, evidence and collaboration, by:

  • improving scientific capacity and expertise
  • improving risk analysis processes and methodologies
  • growing our capacity to generate and/or improve access to data and information
  • improving our data collection, storage, analysis and reporting systems
  • developing productive partnerships with key national and international organisations
  • collaborating effectively with our stakeholders to share knowledge, advice and information.

People—quality and dedication

Our People Strategy aims to ensure FSANZ has the capability and capacity to achieve our purposes and adapt to meet a changing strategic environment.

The themes of the strategy are workforce and succession planning; learning and development; performance and diversity.

Communication

All FSANZ staff have a role in communication and stakeholder engagement. Our strategy aims to manage the different ways of communicating and make the best use of our extensive information. FSANZ will also contribute to assess our performance in those areas.

The strategy identifies a growing reliance on our website and social media to communicate efficiently with diverse audiences and the importance of enhancing role clarity and explaining our risk management decisions. It also highlights the need for further stakeholder research and liaison to help extend our reach into the broader community.  

Appropriateness and effectiveness of governance and processes

The Board and Executive use the FSANZ Corporate Governance Framework to achieve good governance. In addition:

  • the Board sets strategic direction and oversees the performance of the agency
  • senior management guides and monitors our work
  • management and staff disclose all material matters in a timely and accurate manner
  • policies are used to manage our relationships with stakeholders—including employees, Parliament, industry, consumer and health groups and the public.

In 2017–18 we will find ways to improve business efficiency and effectiveness and undertake a number of business process reviews. In particular, we will examine the regulatory risk analysis process to ensure that the allocation of our limited resources is proportionate.

Assessing our performance

Our performance will be assessed by examining and evaluating FSANZ’s contribution to the effective operation of the multi-jurisdictional food regulatory system. Governments in that system lead the development of food regulation policy and are responsible for most of its implementation, with FSANZ providing cohesion and leadership, principally as a source of expert scientific advice.

Developing evidence-based standards

The Forum assesses our performance as a developer of food regulatory measures (standards). The Forum considers all measures approved by FSANZ and may seek a review or amend a measure. Their decisions provide direct assessment of our performance.

Providing evidence-based advice and coordinating regulatory responses

Our contribution to responses to incidents, recalls, surveillance and monitoring will be assessed by seeking and considering the views of other participants in the regulatory system and regulated entities. Surveys are conducted at the conclusion of all food incidents and recalls.

Providing information about food standards 

Our success as a recorder and publisher of information will be measured by FSANZ being recognised as a primary source of information about food safety risk management. This will be evaluated through stakeholder surveys, website analytics and media analysis.

The performance measures that will be reported in FSANZ’s annual performance statements are: 

​Qualitive ​ ​ ​
Deliverable Examples of performance measures ​Examples of evidence
​Develop food standards ​ ​Food regulatory measures are considered in a timely manner
​Applications are finalised within 12 months
​Data is collected about the progress of all applications
​Food standards are developed with regard to food regulation policy ​The Forum does not seek review of any standard developed by FSANZ on the ground that the developed standard does not have regard to food regulation policy ​The Forum does not seek review of any standard developed by FSANZ on the ground Records of the Forum, including correspondence from the Forum to FSANZhat the developed standard does not have regard to food regulation policy
​Coordinate regulatory activity ​
​Manage the operation of the
Bi-national Food Safety Network and coordinate major food incidents under the National Food Incident Protocol
​Jurisdictions provide positive commentary on FSANZ coordination activity at incident evaluation ​Records of jurisdictional views at post-incident evaluation
​Food recalls are effectively coordinated through information sharing and the use of the Food Industry Recall Protocol and Government Food Protocol ​ISFR provides positive commentary on FSANZ coordination activity ​Records of ISFR Food Safety Working Group discussions
​Provide information ​Be a trusted source of information for food regulation in Australia and New Zealand ​Stakeholder feedback collected by survey, biennially ​Survey reports
​Quantitative ​Industry satisfaction with food recall coordination ​95% satisfaction ​Results of survey of industry recall participants. A majority of stakeholders are satisfied with the level of engagement and quality of information
​Coordinate regulatory activity
​CPHD meetings
RML meetings
​2 meetings conducted each year ​Record of meetings
​Provide
information
​Stakeholder engagement ​Website unique visitors >850K
Social media interactions >52K
​Social media and
website analytics
 

These measures are relevant for all four reporting periods covered by this Corporate Plan.

Risk management and risk appetite

The operating context

FSANZ manages risk (including enterprise risks) through the FSANZ Risk Management Framework.

Risk appetite is the level of risk an organisation is prepared to accept in pursuing its objectives, and before action is deemed necessary to reduce the risk.

Strategic intent

FSANZ has a moderate appetite for risks associated with achieving our strategic intent.

Shared responsibility

Food-related public health and safety is a shared responsibility of the Australian, New Zealand and state and territory governments, industry and consumers. FSANZ is responsible for developing food regulatory measures, for providing information and scientific assessments and for coordinating regulatory activities in consultation with, or at the request of, Australian or New Zealand jurisdictions.

In the context of the shared responsibility for food-related public health and safety, FSANZ has a low appetite for risk.

Corporate operations

FSANZ is a corporate entity and the FSANZ Board is responsible under the Food Standards Australia New Zealand Act and the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act for managing resources. The Finance, Audit and Risk Management Committee advises the Board on enterprise risks.

In our corporate operations, FSANZ has a low appetite for risk.

Our strategic intent

To address the strategic challenges ahead, the FSANZ Board will focus on five themes, to ensure our resources are allocated effectively to achieve our purpose.
 
Theme 1
Positioning FSANZ in the contemporary food regulatory system as a trusted source of advice on food, a leader in its areas of expertise; an active participant in developing non-regulatory options to manage risks related to food; and a contributor to the development of broader food policy by promoting the use of scientific evidence in policy development.
​ ​ ​ ​ ​
Initiative​ Performance measure 2017 baseline ​Food regulatory goal addressed ​2021 objective
​Redefine our authorising environment ​FSANZ will contribute to broader food policy through its engagement with the Food Regulation Standing Committee (FRSC) ​FSANZ will contribute to broader food policy through its engagement with the Food Regulation Standing Committee (FRSC) ​Public confidence in the quality and safety of food ​FSANZ plays a critical role in influencing food regulatory policy and responses to food-related issues, including diet-related public health issues
​FSANZ risk management capacity ​FSANZ will enhance its policy development capability and further develop its approach to risk management as a distinct professional discipline ​FSANZ risk management is a component of risk analysis ​Public confidence in the quality and safety of food ​FSANZ is recognised as a pre-eminent, global leading authority on food safety risk management
Reducing regulatory burden ​ ​FSANZ will report on action taken by it to reduce the regulatory impact of the food regulatory system ​FSANZ publishes details of regulatory measures developed in its annual report ​An economically efficient regulatory system ​FSANZ’s regulatory impact is no more than necessary and seeks to minimise compliance costs to government
and industry
Theme 2
Building on FSANZ’s core strengths of scientific/technical excellence and custodian of food-related data and information to establish the agency as a trusted and coherent interpreter of information related to food composition and safety.​ ​ ​ ​
​Food-related data publication ​FSANZ will make food related data holdings available through its website by 2017–18 ​FSANZ provides access to NUTTAB and NPC data ​Public confidence in the quality and safety of food ​Food-related information held by FSANZ will be available publicly
​Graduated risk analysis Processes are revised to permit reallocation of resources ​​A standard risk assessment model is applied to assessment activities ​An economically efficient regulatory system ​Resources are allocated proportionately to risk
Social media and engagement​ ​FSANZ will develop a new digital portal to position FSANZ as an authoritative source of information and the prime custodian of the evidence base for regulating food in Australia and New Zealand and contribute to Australian Government initiatives to make data and information holdings in the public sector more available to the community​ ​Some FSANZ-held data is published on NUTTAB and NPC
A dedicated Food Safety Hub was established in 2016
​Consumers have adequate information relating to food to enable them to make informed choices ​FSANZ will host a comprehensive information source that is widely accessible
​Theme 3
Building on FSANZ’s established relationships with networks of trusted experts and international counterparts to establish a better understanding of emerging risks and practical risk mitigation options.
​ ​ ​ ​
International engagement ​​ ​Provide a leading role in international food regulation and food safety fora ​FSANZ is an active participant in Codex, INFOSAN and related fora ​Public confidence in the quality and safety of food and consistency with international standards ​Trusted and recognised leader in food safety risk management
​Emerging risks ​FSANZ will monitor emerging risks and publish an emerging risks report ​Emerging risks are recorded and monitored internally and reported annually on the FSANZ website ​Public confidence in the quality and safety of food ​FSANZ will have a reliable and comprehensive understanding of the sources of emerging
Theme 4
Deepening FSANZ’s engagement with stakeholders and improving responsiveness. FSANZ will review its Communication and Stakeholder Engagement Strategy in the context of broader work underway in the food regulatory system to strengthen the involvement of stakeholders in the development of policy, standards and implementation. FSANZ will also explore ways to engage with stakeholders that have traditionally been difficult to reach.
 
​Board responsiveness ​The Board will develop new meeting and information procedures to enhance transparency of its
decision-making, and build confidence in the quality of
its engagement
​Board meetings are closed ​An economically efficient regulatory system ​More information and reports on Board decisions are publicly available. Expand Board level consultation with stakeholders
​Theme 5
Achieving efficiency and effectiveness.
​ ​ ​ ​
Financial sustainability and transparency​ ​FSANZ will publish a four year budget on its website ​FSANZ publishes an annual budget, as required by law. Forward estimates are published in the portfolio budget statements ​An economically efficient regulatory system ​FSANZ has the financial capacity to engage fully in the food regulatory system
Workforce planning​ ​FSANZ will align its workforce to meet the requirements of its strategic intent and conduct an annual capability audit ​FSANZ staffing is aligned to the provision of expert advice and evidence-based solutions to risk management challenges ​An economically efficient regulatory system ​FSANZ’s workforce is aligned to perform a wider role within the food regulatory system
 
 
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