Australian exporters are in a significantly stronger position as preferred suppliers of safe, high quality food to the United States of America (USA) after the signing of a bilateral Food Safety Recognition Agreement this month.
Department of Agriculture and Water Resources head of exports, Greg Read, said the agreement was the third the USA had undertaken with a trading partner and provided for the USA and Australia to recognise one another’s food safety and regulatory systems as comparable.
“The upshot is that this will greatly simplify Australian exports to the USA through greater reliance on our national food control systems that ensure the production of safe food,” Mr Read said.
“This agreement, signed by the USA’s Food and Drug Administration and the Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, will result in fewer in-country audits—with compliance being managed by the exporting country.
“This is good for our businesses, as it positions Australia as a safe source of food supply for the US market that will place our exporters in a position of benefit compared with other exporting countries that don’t have this agreement.
“These preferential processes will encourage trade between our two nations that can only be good news for our farmers and growing their profits.
“Not all foods are included in this agreement, but most canned foods, seafood, dairy products, fresh fruit and vegetables, fruit juices, confectionary and baked goods are in scope.
“Just as Australia does, the USA continues to regulate foods such as meat, egg products, shellfish and dietary supplements and more stringent requirements continue to apply.
“This work has taken five years to finalise and I thank the Australian and USA authorities for their diligence in determining the compatibility of our systems culminating in this agreement.
“Behind the scenes, work like this can have real benefits to producers in Australia as our safe, high quality produce has even stronger credentials when compared with produce from a country that does not have its food safety systems recognised.”