Food Standards Australia New Zealand Logo
Food Standards Australia New Zealand Logo

Corporate overview


In 2012–13, Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ):

  • gazetted 12 applications and 7 proposals to amend the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code, including requirements for making nutrition and health claims, approvals for four genetically modified foods, extensions to the country of origin labelling standard, and approvals to add a number of substances to food and to irradiate persimmons
  • prepared documentation for further rounds of public consultation—especially with primary producers—on meat and wild game products and raw (unpasteurised) milk products
  • rejected five applications to amend the Code because they did not meet the mandatory information requirements under s. 22(2) of the Food Standards Australia New Zealand Act 1991 (Appendix 2)
  • commenced work to progress 21 recommendations contained in the Labelling Logic report as part of a four-year work plan, mainly through technical evaluation and advice about presentation and format of food labels
  • undertook modelling for the FRSC Front-of-Pack (FoP) Labelling Technical Design Working Group to determine if a nutrient profiling model, adapted from the health claims Nutrient Profiling Scoring Criterion, could be used as a basis for an interpretative FoP food labelling system
  • assigned a category 1 bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) status to the Netherlands and Vanuatu and a category 2 status to Croatia; conducted four in-country verification visits
  • continued to co-chair (with China) the APEC Food Safety Cooperation Forum on behalf of Australia, with the biennial meeting involving approximately 90 delegates from 16 member economies, as well as participants from a range of government, industry, academic and other organisations
  • commenced work on the 25th Australian Total Diet Study, which focuses on metal contaminants, agricultural and veterinary chemicals and radionuclides
  • coordinated 44 Australia-wide food recalls.

FSANZ's operating environment

Key information
  • National Food Authority (Australia only) 1991
  • Australia New Zealand Food Authority 1996
  • Food Standards Australia New Zealand 2002
Government oversight
The Hon. Shayne Neumann MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing; Chair, Council of Australian Governments Legislative and Governance Forum on Food Regulation
Chair, FSANZ Board
Ms Philippa Smith AM
Chief Executive Officer
Mr Steve McCutcheon
FSANZ staff
(30 June 2013)
129 employees (ongoing and non-ongoing), located in Canberra and Wellington offices
Funding 2012–13
(Portfolio Budget Statements)
Australian Government appropriation—$18.78 m
Other—$2.79 m
Food regulatory system
  • Policy development (Legislative and Governance Forum on Food Regulation)
  • Setting of standards (FSANZ)
  • Enforcement (states; territories; New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries; Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry; local government)
Legislative responsibilities
Enabling Act of Parliament
Food Standards Australia New Zealand Act 1991 (FSANZ Act)
Section 18 objectives
('core' objectives applied to FSANZ's regulatory measures function)
  • Protection of public health and safety
  • Provision of adequate information to consumers
  • Prevention of misleading or deceptive conduct
Section 18 objectives
('have regard to' objectives applied to FSANZ's regulatory measures function)
  • Need for [food] standards to be based on risk analysis using the best available scientific evidence
  • Promotion of consistency between domestic and international food standards
  • Desire for an efficient and internationally competitive food industry
  • Promotion of fair trading in food
Treaty between Australia and New Zealand
Agreement between the Australian Government and the Government of New Zealand concerning a Joint Food Standards System
Structure and processes
Organisational structure
See organisational chart on page 21
  • Twelve-person Board (three members nominated by the New Zealand Government) (Appendix 11)
  • Operates under the FSANZ Act and the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997
  • Finance, Audit and Risk Management Committee, which reports to the Board on financial, accountability, internal audit and compliance systems
Corporate planning
  • Corporate Plan 2012–2015
  • Business Plan 2012–13
  • Portfolio Budget Statements 2012–13: Health and Ageing Portfolio
  • Statement of Expectation
  • Strategy Map (Appendix 12)
FSANZ outcome (Program 1.1)
A safe food supply and well-informed consumers in Australia and New Zealand, including through the development of food regulatory measures and the promotion of their consistent implementation, coordination of food recall activities and the monitoring of consumer and industry food practices
Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code
Any individual or organisation can apply to amend the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (the Code). FSANZ can also initiate changes to the Code, usually to protect public safety or assist in addressing issues of long-term public health importance. The latter are normally requested by the Legislative and Governance Forum on Food Regulation
Application Handbook—part 3 only
Contains details of information required by FSANZ for assessing applications to amend the Code
Assessment of applications and proposals to amend the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code
  • General procedure (9 months to complete assessment)—one round of public consultation
  • Minor procedure (3 months to complete assessment)—limited consultation with government agencies and any affected parties
  • Major procedure (12 months to complete assessment)—two or more rounds of public consultation
  • High-level health claims procedure (9 months to complete assessment)—one round of public consultation, if applicant does not elect for confidential treatment)
FSANZ risk analysis process
  • Risk assessment—determining the likelihood and severity of hazards
  • Risk management—identifying measures to minimise the risk
  • Risk communication—ensuring stakeholders are aware of, and understand, the risk being addressed and the control measures
Food recall process
FSANZ coordinates a national food recall system for Australia, in association with the states and territories and the food industry
National Food Incident Response Protocol
FSANZ coordinates an integrated, whole-of-government response for incidents involving food sold within two or more Australian jurisdictions
Summary of financial performance 2012–13
Financial outcome
Operating revenue: $21.240 m

Operating expenses: $21.186 m
Certificate of Compliance
2012–13 Certificate of Compliance sent to the Australian Government Department of Finance and Deregulation before 15 October, as required

Organisational structure at 30 June 2013

FSANZ’s organisational structure at 30 June 2013.


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