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Food Standards Australia New Zealand Logo

Corporate Plan 2022-23

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Download​ our Corporate Plan 2022-23  (​PDF 1.63 MB) 




On this page

Message from the Bo​ard Chair and Chief ​Executive Officer​

Corporate plan at a glanc​

​​About Food Standards Australia New Zealand​

Our operati​ng context​

Measuring our per​formance​

​​Message from the Board Chair and Chief Executive Officer

We are pleased to present the 2022–23 Corporate Plan for Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ).

FSANZ develops and maintains standards that ensure safe food for Australian and New Zealand consumers, help achieve positive public health out​​comes and support thriving food, beverage and hospitality sectors that generate billions of dollars in economic activity each year. We will continue to set effective food standards to underpin the bi-national regulatory framework that supports new and innovative food products entering the market while ensuring these products are safe to eat.

FSANZ is actively working to be at the forefront of food safety into the future while acknowledging and responding to the challenges of the past few years. Global issues and trends including food security, climate change, rapid advances in technology and biosecurity threats continue to impact Australia and Zealand. Food businesses big and small still face workforce pressures as a result of COVID-19, as well as supply chain problems exacerbated by natural disasters, rising input costs and the conflict in Ukraine. Recent events have shown how vulnerable our food production, manufacturing, retail and service sectors are to disruption, and the impacts this can have on consumers, businesses and industry. FSANZ will continue to work closely with our valued stakeholders to ensure we set future-ready standards that take account of the challenges of today while supporting business to capitalise on the opportunities of tomorrow.

FSANZ is embracing a digitisation agenda to support our future readiness and improve service delivery. This work will look to automate and streamline business processes and make it easier for stakeholders and clients to engage with FSANZ. The agenda will support us in delivering our services effectively and efficiently as a modern, world-leading standards agency.

The success of FSANZ is dependent on our culture and capability. Our core values support our people and the work they do, helping to ensure we consistently demonstrate integrity and accountability to promote trust and confidence in food standards and the regulatory system. We will build on the flexible, collaborative and innovative work practices adopted during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure our staff and teams can continue to perform at their best to deliver our work program and services.

As good regulatory stewards, FSANZ will continue to work collaboratively and constructively to ensure our bi-national system responds successfully to change, prioritises food safety and public health, and delivers an effective, transparent and accountable standards framework within which industry can work efficiently.

As the accountable authority of FSANZ, on behalf of the Board, we are proud to present the 2022–23 Corporate Plan, covering the period 2022–26 as required under paragraph 35(1)(b) of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013.


Signature of Board Chair

Glenys Beauchamp PSM

Board Chair

Signature of CEO

Dr Sandra Cuthbert

Chief Executive Officer

Corporate plan at a glance

World-leading standards, safe food for life.

Our mission

We develop world-leading food standards for Australia and New Zealand that enable a wide variety of safe foods to be available to consumers. We achieve this by applying the talent of our highly skilled subject matter experts in collaboration with stakeholders to make informed decisions on food safety, public health and science that ensure consumers can trust the foods they choose.

Our key activities

Develop food standards informed by the best available scientific evidence.

Coordinate regulatory activities across the food regulation system, including coordination of food incident responses and food recalls.

Provide advice to food regulators and food standards information to consumers.

Our performance areas

Management and completion of applications

Regulatory science

Contribution to international fora, initiatives and projects

Coordination of food recalls

Communication to our stakeholders

Engagement with our stakeholders

Consumer trust in food labels and the food regulation system

Our strategic themes and agency values

Image showing strategic themes and agency values


Key enablers: People, Regulatory Science, Communication, Governance, Digital Services

About Food Standards Australia New Zealand​

Our role

FSANZ was established to implement a partnership agreement with states and territories and a Treaty between Australia and New Zealand to achieve:

  • a high degree of consumer confidence in t​​he quality and safety of food available in Australia and New Zealand

  • an effective, transparent and accountable regulatory framework, within which industry can work efficiently

  • provision of adequate information about food to support informed food choices

  • the harmonisation of food standards in Australia, New Zealand and internationally.

Our purpose

Our broad purpose is to contribute to the cooperative bi-national food regulation system by developing science and evidence-based standards, coordinating regulatory responses and providing information to the public about food standards. The object of the FSANZ Act is to ensure a high standard of public health protection throughout Australia and New Zealand.

Our key activities

FSANZ undertakes three key activities to achieve its Portfolio Budget Statement (PBS) outcome of a safe food supply and well-informed consumers in Australia and New Zealand. Our key activities are:

  • Developing food standards informed by the best available scientific evidence

  • Coordinating regulatory activities across the food regulation system, including coordination of food incident responses and food recalls

  • Providing advice to food regulators and food standards information to consumers.

We work in collaboration with government, industry, public health groups, academia and the community to deliver our activities, support food system innovation and facilitate trade with other countries.

Australia and New Zealand share an international reputation for producing safe and nutritious food, underpinned by our robust bi-national food regulatory system. The Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code is at the heart of this system, delivering the standards that quality-assure domestic and export food production and manufacturing, and ensure imported foods meet mandated safety requirements.

Innovation plays a critical role in driving international trade and growth in the food manufacturing sector. In developing food standards, FSANZ considers the impact of food regulatory measures on innovation and trade. We focus on developing high quality standards which achieve health outcomes and protect our shared bi-national reputation for safe food, whilst enabling industry to innovate quickly and cost effectively to remain competitive in the global market.

FSANZ operates within statutory requirements for timeliness and effectiveness while actively engaging stakeholders to understand and meet their expectations. Our standards setting is based on the latest evidence and considers rapid food sector change driven by evolving science, advancing technologies, globalisation of supply chains and shifting market and consumer needs. We strive to find new and improved ways to do our work, including by identifying and monitoring emerging food safety issues and trends and through digital transformation of our systems and processes. Together these approaches ensure we set effective standards, deliver strong and sustainable performance and maintain our capacity to respond to challenges and opportunities.

Our vision

World-leading standards, safe food for life

Our mission

We develop world leading food standards for Australia and New Zealand that enable a wide variety of safe foods to be available to consumers. We achieve this by applying the talent of our highly skilled subject matter experts in collaboration with stakeholders to make informed decisions on food safety, public health and science that ensure consumers can trust the foods they choose.

Our values and culture

Our values and culture, reflected in how we work every day, are fundamental to successful delivery of our key activities. We embrace the Australian Public Service ICARE values of being impartial, committed to service, accountable, respectful and ethical in our operations in Australia and New Zealand.

FSANZ has developed a complementary set of organisational values to promote and support a constructive work culture and to recognise the diverse and bi-national nature of the organisation.

Develop: support our people to grow and develop

Achieve: collaborate to achieve a common goal

Accountable: responsible for commitments, behaviours and actions

Respect: build open and supportive relationships

Transparent: build trust by being genuine, clear and consistent

Our strategic themes

Our strategic themes set the direction for the important work we do. We have outlined goals under each strategic theme which will help us deliver against our purpose, strive towards achieving our vision and mission and respond to the challenges and opportunities of our current environment.

An independent and trusted leader

  • ​​​An independent standards setter and trusted source of advice on food safety and food-related public health

FSANZ will continue to build on its reputation for developing world-leading food standards and providing independent, rigorous and evidence-based advice to our stakeholders and the food regulation system. We remain an independent and trusted contributor to a robust and agile food regulation system.

  • ​​​​​​​A leader in its areas of expertise

FSANZ has the largest government concentration of specialist food regulation experts across Australasia. We are internationally recognised for the quality of our scientific work and will continue to build expertise in all areas of science and food standards. Our capability is central to maintaining our reputation as a world-class, independent regulatory science leader and standards setter.

  • ​Global leader in regulatory science

Science is a critical core competence that underpins FSANZ’s ability to achieve its purpose. High quality regulatory science is based on being independent, accessing the best available evidence and incorporating information from numerous disciplines. It forms the basis of world-leading standard setting.

  • ​A source of wisdom on emerging issues

We will continue to undertake regular and ongoing vigilance and intelligence activities to sense and identify potential food safety risks and opportunities for the agency and the food regulation system as a whole.​

​Over the next four years, FSANZ will:

  • deepen our science capability through strategic alliances with other government agencies and key research institutes in the academic and private sectors.

  • through our Regulatory Science Strategy, ensure we remain prepared to respond to the challenges of global trends and emerging risks in a dynamic food system.

  • enhance our existing and highly-effective domestic and international networks and seek to anticipate immediate risks as well as looking at potential issues over 2, 5 and 10 year time horizons.

Deeply engaged with stakeholders

  • Engage with our domestic and international stakeholders

We have well established consultation processes and a wide number of trusted stakeholder relationships in both Australia and New Zealand, as well as internationally. As a result, we have developed mutually beneficial, deep and rich contacts across the sector and are seen as a trusted and independent source of expertise and advice.

  • Enhance international engagement

​We will continue to consider opportunities for work-sharing with other international food standard setting agencies that will allow important synergies to be achieved. This will produce efficiencies in work areas as well as improving timeliness.​


Over the next four years FSANZ will:

  • ensure that our engagement with stakeholders will continue to form a major part of our activities
  • further our relationships with indigenous peoples of both countries by exploring and undertaking structured engagement activities and collaborative projects
  • take up the opportunity for synergistic work-sharing with other international food standard setting agencies
  • seek greater leverage of Codex standards with a view to strengthen adoption into the Code
  • enhance our work with APEC economies and continue to provide leadership in food safety and regulation within the Asia-Pacific region.

Stewardship of bi-national food standards in a robust and agile food regulation system​​​

  • Effective, efficient and fit-for-purpose standards

FSANZ recognises that standards development stands alongside and supports other aspects of the bi-national food regulation system including policy development, compliance and enf​​orcement. We will continue to ensure standards are proportionate, fit-for-purpose and well designed to support balanced regulatory settings, maintain essential safeguards and reduce compliance costs.

  • Provide expert evidence and advice to support the policy making processes

Where appropriate, FSANZ will contribute expertise and advice to develop domestic policy, support and lead international food regulation harmonisation and standards development and contribut​​​e to the advancement of food safety knowledge.

  • ​Undertake a regulatory stewardship approach to standards design and development

FSANZ will continue to apply a w​hole-of-system, life-cycle view of standards design and development and its interaction with policy objectives and regulatory settings as part of a cohesive stewardship approach within the food regulation system.

  • ​​​Maintain our role in national food incident and recall response within Australia

FSANZ plays a central role in food recalls and incidents by coordinating activities, collating and sharing information and, in many cases, managing communications. By working together with stakeholders, we will ensure consistency and effectiveness in food recall and incident responses, supporting maintenance of a safe food supply.​

Over the next four years, FSANZ will:

  • ​continue to develop our evidence and data base, including through stakeholder engagement, foresighting and intelligence gathering, to ensure we effectively identify problems and consider a range of regulatory or non-regulatory response options.
  • ​increase our input into policy development processes and look to enhance this in a way that plays to our strengths, in particular in the areas of technical expertise and trusted stakeholder relationships.
  • build on our existing stakeholder relationships to facilitate ongoing engagement with those affected by existing regulation and those impacted by proposed changes.
  • support the Australian Government's regulatory stewardship agenda, including leading by example as an effective steward of bi-national food standards.
  • support the Australian Government's Digital Strategy by exploring ways we can digitise our processes and service delivery.
  • continue to play a key role in the coordination of food recalls and food incidents.

Our operating context

FSANZ plays a vital role in the food regulation system; a complex and cooperative bi-national system that protects the ‘safe food’ brand for both countries.

The joint Australian and New Zealand food regulation system is a strong, world-class system that underpins a high level of confidence in the quality and safety of the food that Australians and New Zealanders eat. The system employs risk management principles based on scientific evidence and expertise that protects the health and safety of consumers. It is a comprehensive system that involves all levels of government in Australia and New Zealand, with different roles being met by local, state and national governments.

The system engages industry, businesses and stakeholders in the food supply chain, providing a stable platform on which our food sector can operate, and enables choice for consumers. The system also operates in an international context. The sharing of food standards across Australia and New Zealand, and harmonisation with international standards, supports export opportunities for both countries while reducing barriers to trade.​​

External environment​

Modernisation of the Food Regulation System

Food ministers have endorsed a plan to reform the bi-national Food Regulation System to ensure it remains strong, robust and agile into the future. This reflects that the system is operating in a complex environment with changing consumer expectations and significant technological advancements.

FSANZ works with a wide range of industry, consumer, public health, government and international stakeholders in developing standards and providing food safety information and advice, making it uniquely positioned within the system to be able to identify sectoral changes, emerging issues and global trends.

We will continue to play a key role in supporting Ministerial Priority 3: maintaining a robust and agile food regulation system by actively supporting and contributing to reform work and engaging with our stakeholders to explore challenges and opportunities for the food regulation system.

FSANZ Legislative Review

A review of the Food Standards Australia New Zealand Act 1991 (FSANZ Act) forms a key component of the work to reform of the bi-national Food Regulation System. This includes a broad review of the Act as well as the operations and responsibilities of the agency. The review provides an opportunity for positive reform for FSANZ and the food regulation system.

The last significant review of the FSANZ Act was undertaken in 2007. The landscape in which the food supply operates has changed considerably over the same period.

Reviewing FSANZ’s enabling legislation will help ensure the agency and broader regulatory system are well placed to meet the contemporary needs of consumers and industry while preparing for the future. FSANZ must be well placed to respond to current and emerging opportunities, challenges and risks in both standards-setting and regulation. Equally, Australian and New Zealand governments at all levels must ensure the bi-national regulatory system is as robust and future-ready as possible.

While the food regulatory system has solid foundations, it does need to be updated to support innovation, maintain confidence in the safety of the food supply and drive regulatory efficiency. Measures must be put in place to ensure FSANZ is effective and efficient in delivering its functions into the future to keep pace with rapidly evolving food systems and technologies, safeguard consumer health and safety, s​upport trade and economic growth by reducing regulatory burden, and support industry innovation.

We will continue to actively engage in the process by providing input into the review, legislative drafting and ministerial/parliamentary processes, where appropriate.

We will also work to ensure that the agency maintains its solid base and continues to evolve to take on any changes in its operating context resulting from the review.

Internal environment

FSANZ has identified five key enablers and developed supporting strategies and frameworks to focus our activities under this plan. Our key enablers underpin the agency’s core functions including workforce development, stakeholder engagement, governance and digital services.

People

The high-quality of the work we achieve is a testament to our highly skilled, qualified and diverse workforce. We will continue to implement planning and strategies that maintain the workforce capability needed to deliver the agency’s key functions and priorities into the future.

Workforce planning assists us to proactively manage our workforce requirements – our workforce size, structure and capabilities and average staffing level – while ensuring we remain responsive to government and community expectations and disruptions and opportunities in the food regulatory environment.

Our Workforce Strategy supports a constructive workplace culture and equips us to meet the ongoing demands of a challenging operating environment.

Regulatory Science

Our Regulatory Science Strategy 2019–23 sets out our plan to develop and maintain our scientific evidence base and risk assessment methodologies, expand our capabilities, leverage resources through strategic partnerships, and communicate our science to meet stakeholder needs.

It positions us as a recognised leader of food regulatory science in our region and the trusted coordinator of credible information on food safety, ensuring that the risk analysis framework remains appropriate to respond to the challenges of a changing food system.

Maintaining and expanding our regulatory science capabilities will enable us to remain flexible and agile in meeting the needs of a constantly evolving food production system, for the benefit of food producers, manufacturers and consumers.

Our food safety risk analysis approach ensures that we can effectively identify, monitor and respond to food safety and food-related public health issues in a transparent and coordinated manner that applies an internationally recognised methodology.

Communication

Our Communication and Stakeholder Engagement Strategy aims to manage the different ways we communicate and make the best use of our extensive networks. Communications activities are aimed at explaining our use of evidence and the regulatory and non-regulatory objectives of our decisions, while providing confidence in the safety of the food supply and food safety-related information.

Our Strategy identifies a growing reliance on our website and social media to communicate efficiently with diverse audiences and the importance of more clearly engaging with audiences during risk analysis processes. It also highlights the need for further stakeholder research and liaison to extend our reach into the broader community.

Governance

In a world in which food risks can emerge quickly and advances in knowledge or innovation can change our understanding of a hazard, we must be able to respond promptly and proportionately. Our Governance Framework enables strong and sustainable performance and provides the foundation to meet challenges and take advantage of opportunities as they arise.

The principal elements of FSANZ’s governance systems are leadership, compliance, collaboration, risk management, accountability and planning. Our governance systems ensure that we make consistent decisions and have a high-level of accountability for all of our activities, through active consultation both internally and with our stakeholders, collaboration and transparent decision making.

FSANZ has developed a Performance Planning and Reporting Framework that:

  • aligns to and connects statutory Commonwealth Performance Framework components (i.e. Portfolio Budget Statement (PBS), Corporate Plan and Annual Performance Statement), with annual planning and performance reporting

  • reduces areas of duplication to ensure a streamlined, efficient and effective approach, and

  • consolidates responsibilities within existing corporate governance functions.​​​​

​​This work is important to prepare the agency for any FSANZ Act Review-related organisational change and to ensure we have rigorous and structured planning and reporting that can adjust to and accommodate any new responsibilities and/or scaling of existing functions.

Digital services

In line with the Australia Government’s Digital Government Strategy, FSANZ is working to ensure our services are available digitally, easy to access, and people and business centric.

Our digitisation agenda aims to mitigate risks, modernise our processes and support our work as regulatory stewards. To advance digitisation, we are focusing on two streams of work:

  • improving our internal systems and existing digital platforms to mitigate risks related to inefficient manual processes, deliver operational efficiencies, improve client services and optimise the user experience

  • developing new digital solutions to improve the user experience and reduce compliance and regulatory costs for business and industry.​

Risk management and risk appetite

We manage risk through our Risk Management Framework. The framework sets out the organisational arrangements for designing, implementing, monitoring, reviewing and continually improving risk management within FSANZ.

In our day-to-day operations, we manage risk using an emerging risk framework and through strategic communication activities.

Our Board, supported by its Finance, Audit and Risk Management Committee, oversees enterprise risk management. Risk appetite is the level of risk the Board and agency is prepared to accept in achieving their objectives and before action is deemed necessary to reduce the risk. We recognise the importance of the overall risk appetite of the Board and the relationship between this and the activities of the organisation. In addition, the relationship between strategic and operational risk is recognised as well as links with organisational culture.

We have a moderate appetite for risks associated with achieving our overall strategy given the importance of food safety, and we have a low willingness to accept risks which have no alignment with our strategies or have the potential to damage FSANZ’s reputation.

The full risk appetite statement can be found here.

Me​asuring our performance

Our Corporate Plan is the primary planning document reflecting the strategic direction of the agency, as agreed by the Board. It is aligned with FSANZ’s Portfolio Budget Statement (PBS), which describes the outcomes, allocation of resources, and our planned performance. We report our performance in our Annual Report.

To ensure we meet our expected outcomes, we have developed a suite of measures that enable us to better tell our performance stories and focus our efforts. Our five key enablers, and the supporting strategies and frameworks under these, assist us to focus our activities to ensure we meet our performance objectives and measures.

PBS performance

Performance results 2022–23

Planned Performance results 2023–26

FSANZ Performance measures

Applications to amend the Food Regulatory Measures are considered within statutory timeframes.

  • Applications to amend Food Standards Codes are assessed within 12 months, as required by the Food Standards Australia New Zealand Regulations 1994.

As per 2022-23

Management and completion of applications

  • % of applications completed within legislative timeframes (target = 100%)

Regulatory science

  • Number of post-market surveys to support food regulatory activities (target = 4 per year)
  • Number of scientific data and analysis items of relevance to food safety and standards development, shared with FSANZ by external stakeholders
  • Number of formal arrangements between FSANZ and external stakeholders for collaborative work on scientific matters

Strengthen Australia and New Zealand’s food regulation system through influencing the development of evidence-based international standards and adopting international best practice

  • FSANZ demonstrates engagement in international food standards development activities, including by leading and participating in bilateral, multilateral and global fora, initiatives and projects.

As per 2022-23

Contribution to international fora, initiatives and projects (NEW)

  • Number of bilateral, multilateral and global initiatives and projects
  • Number of formal invitations to join international bodies or requests for expert elicitation
  • Number of capacity building activities implemented (target = 2 per year)

Coordinate major food incidents under the National Food Incident Response Protocol (the Protocol).

  • Deliver efficient and effective food incident management through the Bi-National Food Safety Network and, when appropriate, the Protocol.

As per 2022-23

Coordination of food recalls

  • Number of food incidents under the NFIRP
  • % of food recall notifications by businesses to FSANZ that are published within 48 hours (target = 100%)
  • % of recall sponsors satisfied with FSANZ information and assistance

FSANZ is recognised as the primary source of information about food standards and food regulation in Australia and New Zealand, meeting the needs of stakeholders.

  • The annual stakeholder survey indicates around 70% of stakeholders continue to be either satisfied or very satisfied with FSANZ’s overall performance in the last 2 years.

As per 2022-23

Engagement with our stakeholders

  • % of respondents that indicate satisfaction with FSANZ performance
  • % of respondents that indicate trust in FSANZ
  • Number of engagement activities undertaken as part of FSANZ’s public consultation processes

Communication to our stakeholders

  • % of stakeholders receiving the right amount of information from FSANZ
  • % of stakeholders who think FSANZ keeps them up to date

Consumer trust in food labels and the food regulation system

  • % of respondents who respond positively about trust in the information on food labels.
  • % of respondents who report having confidence in FSANZ

Role of the corporate plan

Our Corporate Plan sets out our purpose, outcomes and priorities. It details the measures through which we will deliver our activities and assess our performance each year.

The Corporate Plan links directly to FSANZ’s Portfolio Budget Statements (PBS). There is a clear line of sight between our PBS, Corporate Plan and annual performance statement.

Linkages between FSANZ’s statutory and corporate planning and reporting are shown in the following diagram:​​




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