Earlier this year a group of like-minded people came together to plan a conference on food integrity – speculating that NZ food producers would be as interested as their global counterparts. Drawing from their collective knowledge and connections they brought together speakers from NZ, China, Australia and the US.
The inaugural Food Integrity conference was held on 13 & 14 July in Auckland and was attended by a wide range of delegates from food businesses, regulatory authorities, science and education communities.
Key note speaker Col John Hoffman from the US Food Protection & Defence Institute highlighted the vulnerability of our exports and John Hackett from AJ Park reiterated the requirements for brand protection. Other speakers presented emerging science and technology solutions alongside speakers on international initiatives (the World Bank’s, Global Food Safety Partnership) and those representing the trade sector. The Conference was opened by Hon Jo Goodhew, Minister for Food Safety.
Rachael Speedy from NZ Premium Foods summarized the conference from the perspective of an owner of food business:
“My head is still reeling from the Food Integrity 2016 conference. None of us could have predicted just how many topics world be covered, relating to one word ‘Integrity’. Governance, sabotage, economic motivation, chemical attack, traceability, adulteration, regulations, prevention strategies, documentation trails, crisis management, IP protection, fraud, audits, illness and education are some that instantly come to mind.”
Speedy sees that there is a role for NZ, “I believe that with our expertise in New Zealand we could become world leaders in the Food Integrity field by collaborating with government departments, science and research and involving the private sector”. Furthermore, “to be honest, we don’t have a choice, no one else will protect our brand for us”.
Based on the success of this year’s event another conference is being planned for next July and further Food Integrity events are being proposed to support building resiliency in the NZ food sector.
For more information please contact:
021 479 958
The Asia Pacific Centre for Food Integrity (APCFI) is a private company that works to mitigate risk to food exporters, maximise the investment in robust production processes, and educate regulators and producers. The APCFI works in both NZ and China.