Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) recently published its 2023–2024 Corporate Plan, which defines the strategic direction of the agency for the coming year, as agreed upon by the FSANZ Board. The Corporate Plan reflects the agency’s vision and mission, its role and key activities, its capabilities, the greater operating environment, and its work to address future challenges.

In general, FSANZ’s role is to develop and maintain the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code, help consumers stay informed, make sure unsafe food is quickly removed from the market, and monitor the safety of the food supply. In the coming year, aside from fulfilling its key activities, FSANZ will put efforts into “future-proofing” the Australian and New Zealand food system by actively supporting and contributing to regulatory reform work, including taking part in the ongoing review of the Food Standards Australia New Zealand Act 1991. FSANZ is also actively engaged in assessing the safety of and approving new food technologies and products coming to market that support a future-ready food system, and is also working to build the agency’s capability and capacity to support the emerging market for First Nations foods.

To ensure expected outcomes for 2023–2024 are met, FSANZ also included a Performance Planning and Reporting Framework in its Corporate Plan that enables the agency to actively monitor and measure its performance and report publicly on its results. FSANZ’s performance is outlined in its annual reports.

FSANZ’s key activities outlined in the Corporate Plan are to 1) develop food standards informed by the best available scientific evidence, 2) coordinate regulatory activities across the food regulation system, including coordination of food incident responses and food recalls, and 3) provide advice to food regulators and food standards information to consumers. Performance areas and measures for each of the three key activities are laid out in the Corporate Plan.

Specifically, for the first key activity, developing food standards informed by the best available scientific evidence, FSANZ will measure its performance by the number of applications to amend the Food Standards Code that are completed within legislative timeframes, as well as by the amount of regulatory science activities that are executed. FSANZ will also measure its contribution to international food safety discussions, initiatives, and projects.

The second key activity, coordinating regulatory activities across the food regulation system, will be measured by how many incidents are managed under the Binational Food Safety Network and Protocol. FSANZ will measure the percent of food recall notifications by businesses that are published within 48 hours, and the satisfaction of recall sponsors with FSANZ information and assistance.

The final key activity, providing regulatory advice and consumer information, will be measured by the amount of communication shared by FSANZ and stakeholder trust and satisfaction in the information they receive. FSANZ’s recent annual stakeholder survey indicated that approximately 70 percent of stakeholders were either satisfied or very satisfied with FSANZ’s overall performance in the last two years.