Major reform agenda underway for the food regulation system

Close up image of strawberries

The Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation has begun a reform agenda for the food regulation system aimed at ensuring that it remains strong, robust and agile into the future.

The reform agenda is being progressed via several interconnected projects and will include stakeholder engagement.

The projects are:

1. Review of the Australian Intergovernmental Food Regulation Agreement (FRA)
This will review and modernise the FRA?to create a new foundation document which outlines the scope and operation of the?Australian food regulatory system. The new FRA will be the central policy document underpinning the scope and operation of the Australian system.
Public consultation is anticipated in late September and October 2020. An online survey and public forum are also planned.

2. Jurisdictional Consistency
This will explore new regulatory models and whether inconsistent implementation of food policy, standards and enforcement procedures cause cost and vulnerability to government and industry.
A regulatory theory paper is being developed on contemporary models to encourage jurisdictional consistency with the final paper due late September 2020.? In parallel, work is underway to examine the cost of inconsistency to industry and government and identify ways to reduce duplication and redundant regulatory features. Targeted consultation on this second piece of work is expected in late September.

3. Operation
This project will provide operational and functional improvements to the food regulatory system. The Operations review will be informed by stakeholder feedback from engagement across other elements of the reform.

4. A review of the Food Standards Australia New Zealand Act 1991
This is being undertaken by the Australian Government and the Terms of Reference are available on the Food Regulation Website.?The Nous Group has been engaged as the consultant for this project. Public?consultation?is anticipated in late October 2020.

Updates on all of the projects will be provided on the Food Regulation website Modernisation of the Food System page and consultations advised via the website when dates are confirmed.

CFA encourages members and other consumer bodies and consumer advocates to participate in this important reform process and would welcome collaborating with others interested in it. If interested please contact

For further information, or if you have any questions about the reform agenda, contact:

Ian Jarratt, CFA representative on Food Standards Australia and New Zealand: Consumer and Public Health Dialogue