Benchmarking Food Safety Regulation

Media release

This media release accompanies the Performance Benchmarking of Australian and New Zealand Business Regulation: Food Safety research report which was released on 22 December 2009.

See also: Key points

A report released by the Productivity Commission has identified differences in burdens imposed on business by the food safety regulatory regimes at all levels of government in Australia and New Zealand.

The report - Performance Benchmarking of Australian and New Zealand Business Regulation: Food Safety - is part of a series requested by COAG, responding to the imperative of removing unnecessary compliance costs, achieving greater consistency and reducing regulatory duplication.

The report identified opportunities for all jurisdictions to improve food safety regulation and its enforcement in order to reduce burdens on business and costs to the community.

Associate Commissioner Paul Coghlan said: 'There are encouraging signs that regulatory agencies generally use a tailored and measured approach, assisting businesses to comply. Yet, unnecessary compliance burdens remain in a number of areas.'

Areas where significant regulatory burdens remain across jurisdictions include:

  • some regulatory requirements in excess of national standards
  • slow progress in developing national standards under the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code for primary production and processing
  • inconsistencies between jurisdictions on the assessment of risks of particular foods
  • for businesses operating in several locations, inconsistencies across Australian local councils and across New Zealand territorial authorities in the costs and intensity of regulation
  • higher costs and regulatory duplication for Australian food exporters compared to the regulation of New Zealand food exporters.
Background information
Sue Holmes (Assistant Commissioner) 02 6240 3351 / 0404 207 946
Clair Angel (Media Comment) 02 6240 3239 / 0417 665 443