​Introduction

Good communication and engagement is critical to the work of FSANZ. It builds trust in the safety of food and gives confidence to the community and industry that the decisions we make are transparent, independent and based on the best available science.

We communicate to stakeholders through a variety of channels including our website, social media, newsletters, media releases and publications. We use these channels to communicate information about food and our standards development work, raise awareness about our work, including opportunities for comment, respond to misinformation and ultimately build confidence in the safety of food.

Data

Data used to measure our performance in 2019-20 has been gathered from a range of sources. We tracked the number of new topics and publications published to the FSANZ website as well as existing topics that were reviewed and updated for currency each month over the previous 12 months.

We also measured the number of media enquiries and engagement with our social media channels as a way to track that the information we proactively share with the community is fit for purpose and of interest to our stakeholders.

Results

Outcome ​Performance measure ​Results ​Context

Our information is accurate, current, and meets stakeholder needs

​ ​

Number of new topics/publications developed and published on the website

Number of existing topics reviewed and updated

​15

 

100+reviewed 60 updated

​We published nine new reports and publications to the FSANZ website. In addition, six new information topics published to our consumer and business pages included COVID-19 and food safety, cell based meats and food incident pages.

We reviewed over 100 of our webpages relating to food labelling, genetically modified foods, caffeine, food recalls and food safety.

​Number of media enquiries to FSANZ*

% of responses provided by the deadline (target >99%)

​131

 

100%

The majority of enquiries related to  food recalls, Standards Development work (caffeine, pregnancy warning labels on alcoholic beverages, GM food) general labelling requirements and COVID-19.

​Number of visits to the FSANZ website*

 

Number of social media followers and interactions (reactions, retweets, shares)

Number of messages/enquiries managed via social media

​2,201,000

 

 

56,400 followers

 

126 enquiries were managed via our social media channels

​Visits the FSANZ website increased by around 20 percent in 2019-20 (up from 1,840,000 in 2018-19.

Our social media audience increased by over 5,300 in 2019-20 from the previous year.

Enquiries received and managed via our social media channels related largely to food recalls, food complaints and regulations in the Code for labelling.

* Indicates that the measure overlaps with deliverables set by our portfolio agency the Australian Department of Health.

Case study – Novel Coronavirus and food safety

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and concerns from consumers and food businesses regarding food safety we established a dedicated web presence to provide a central source of advice for consumers and businesses on COVID-19 and food safety and requirements for food businesses. Our website provides advice about:

  • transmission of COVID-19 by food or food packaging
  • impact of border restrictions on food production and food supply
  • effective hygiene practices for food businesses
  • minimising the impact of COVID-19 on a food business workforce including what to do if a worker tests positive
  • government restrictions and operation requirements
  • regulatory compliance and global supply issues
  • State Territory, and New Zealand contacts for COVID-19 food safety

Working with the Food Regulation Sub-Committee this content has been updated regularly to ensure the latest COVID-19 information is available. The web content is one of our top five most viewed pages each month, with total page views > 190,000 since March 2020.

Conclusion

In 2019-20 engagement with our social media channels and use of the FSANZ website continued to increase. This shows that stakeholders continue to see FSANZ as a trusted source of information and that our communication channels and content are seen as relevant for our audiences.

In 2020-21 we will explore more opportunities to drive engagement with our communication channels – seeking feedback from stakeholder on improvements to content to ensure we continue to meet their needs.

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