PH signs deal with NZ on food safety
The Philippines and New Zealand signed a food safety cooperation agreement to enhance trade relations to mark 50 years of diplomatic ties.
“The signing of the food safety arrangement demonstrates our interest in growing trade and our commitment to deepening the excellent relationship between our countries,” New Zealand minister for food safety Jo Goodhew said in a statement.
The Inquirer said the Philippines’ Food and Drug Administration and New Zealand’s Ministry for Primary Industries signed the agreement on January 19, 2016. The agreement builds on the Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations)-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement.
The agreement was signed by Philippine health secretary Janette Garin for the FDA and New Zealand Ambassador David Strachan on behalf of MPI.
“Signing this arrangement is an excellent way to start 2016, the year we celebrate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between New Zealand and the Philippines,” Stratchan said. “The arrangement would facilitate greater engagement between our agencies with responsibility for food safety through increased engagement between experts, information sharing and cooperation in areas of best practice. Over time, our traders will benefit from this important work.”
The agreement aims to create and consolidate cooperation in the field of food safety as it relates to trade between the two countries. The cooperation may include exchange of information on food safety policy, the recognition of equivalence of measures, cooperation in the field of formal post graduate education on food science and technology, regulatory assessments and registration processes, and direct and timely notification of cases of serious and immediate concerns on food traded between the two countries that impact on public health.
To implement the agreement, the two countries agreed to establish a consultation forum to jointly decide implementing arrangements and develop and recommend an action plan to outline the joint work program for the next two years. Technical working groups or other meetings of officials may also be established to facilitate the programs for cooperation. A monitoring and review system will also be arranged to allow for a periodic assessment on the progress of cooperation.