World Accreditation Day 2020: Improving Food Safety

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World Accreditation Day 2020: Improving Food Safety

Today marks World Acreditation Day 2020. Accreditation plays a key role in establishing the confidence and credibility of certification, builds trust and reduces costs within supply chains and assists in facilitating international trade. Accreditation has played a key role during the COVID19 crisis and offers a valuable opportunity in the post-COVID19 recovery as economies and world trade demands certainty about the safety, authenticity and traceability throughout the food supply chain.

While Australia and New Zealand produce a great abundance of high-quality nutritious and delicious food, the COVID19 response has heighten public awareness about the importance of good hygiene practices. Australia and New Zealand both produce enough food to feed our populations and provide significant quantities for export, with a reputation for safety and quality.

Along with the temporary closure of restaurants and cafes through COVID19 restrictions, there has been increased concern about food security and how the supply chain and the distribution of goods to retail outlets is vulnerable with periods of shortage of some items, particularly for remote and regional communities depend on maintaining these supplies.

As the restrictions imposed under COVID19 are eased, restaurants and cafes reopen, and the demands for fresh quality food increases, there is an opportunity for businesses to embed greater confidence about the safety and quality of their foods through certification to an internationally recognised food safety standard. Many of these standards have been benchmarked by the Global Food Safety Initiative to show comparable performance of suppliers in providing well managed systems that ensure the safety and integrity of their food and ensure the authenticity and origin of their ingredients.

We have seen changing attitudes towards working practices, travelling, meeting and consumption more broadly and with consumer behaviour changing. These have created challenges and new opportunities for certification bodies and auditors in new ways of working with businesses to ensure confidence in the certified products. It also creates new demands and opportunities for food businesses not simply to return to the “old ways” but to embrace these changes through innovation and a drive for excellence.

JAS-ANZ accreditation provides independent external assessment of the performance of certification bodies and their auditors. Certification bodies are assessed against international standards to meet requirements of impartiality, competence and consistency in conducting their assessment of suppliers and their products. JAS-ANZ is a member of the IAF and the multilateral agreement that enables recognition of the certification of suppliers conducted in other countries.

Accreditation ensures that in a post-COVID19 world that embraces the new normal, that certification bodies and their auditors maintain the high standards and rise delivering on new opportunities that supports businesses in delivering on their promise of safe, quality and authentic food.