Inaugural Food Safety Conference - Gold Coast 11-12 October 2004

Source: FSANZ)

Australia’s food regulators today encouraged participation in the inaugural Food Safety Conference on the Gold Coast in Queensland from 11 to 12 October 2004.

‘Food Standards Australia New Zealand, Safefood Queensland, Dairy Food Safety Victoria, and the NSW Food Authority have organised this conference Food Safety 2004: Future Directions in conjunction and with the support of all the food regulatory agencies in Australia and New Zealand,’ Graham Peachey, the Chief Executive Officer of Food Standards Australia New Zealand, said today.

‘This will be a great opportunity for the food industry and retailers, enforcement agencies, interested consumer and professional groups and service providers to the food industry to ensure that they are up to date with the latest information on food regulation and safety. As this is not a commercially run conference it is also value for money.

‘Speakers will be coming from around the world and include Geoffrey Podger, Executive Director of the European Food Safety Authority, Dr Doug Powell from the University of Guelph in Canada and Robert Carberry from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

‘From Australia and New Zealand we have the Hon Rob Knowles Chairman of the FSANZ Board, Andrew McKenzie the Executive Director of the New Zealand Food Safety Authority, Clare Hughes from the Australian Consumers Association, Dick Wells Chief Executive of the Australian Food and Grocery Council and Sue Meek the Gene Technology Regulator.

‘This is a first for Australia to hold a conference that will examine future directions from both an international and national perspective,’ Mr Peachey concluded.

Barbara Wilson, the Chief Executive Officer of Safefood Queensland, encouraged as many people as possible to attend this unique event.

‘If this is the only conference you or your staff attend in the coming year you will be able to obtain a wide range of information and professional development opportunities. I recommend registering and booking your accommodation as soon as possible so as not to miss out.

‘The Gold Coast, in sunny Queensland is an ideal location for this conference. It will be held at the newly opened Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre which is located in the hub of the Gold Coast’s most exciting attractions and only walking distance from a range of accommodation options,’ Ms Wilson said.

You can register by logging on to
Trade displays and sponsorship information can be obtained from or by calling Debbie Dewey at Food Standards Australia New Zealand on 02 6271 2670.

The conference is sponsored by: Safefood Queensland, Food Standards Australia New Zealand, the NSW Food Authority, Dairy Food Safety Victoria, the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Standards Australia, Queensland Health, the Tasmanian Department of Health and Human Services, the Northern Territory Department of Health and Community Services, the Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Water and Environment, Primary Industry and Resources South Australia, Food Science Australia and the Australian Local Government Association.

Details of key speakers.

Geoffrey Podger - Executive Director, European Food Safety Authority
Managing food safely – the European Experience. 11am 11 October 2004

Geoffrey Podger took up office as the first Executive Director of European Food Safety Authority on 1st February 2003. He was appointed following an open competition throughout the European Union. Mr Podger was previously Chief Executive of the UK Food Standards Agency which was established in April 2000 to bring about increased transparency and consumer involvement in food safety and related matters.

Geoffrey Podger has been a UK civil servant since graduating from Oxford University in 1974. He has been mainly concerned with public health matters and has worked extensively for the Department of Health in London. He became a Companion of the Order of the Bath (a British decoration for public services) in January 2003.

The Hon Rob Knowles – Chairman of the Board of Food Standards Australia New Zealand
Managing food safely – the Australian Experience. 11am 11 October 2004

The Hon Rob Knowles has broad health related interests and an active engagement with various aspects of the health sector. He currently holds the position of Commissioner for Complaints for the Australian Government’s Aged Care Program as well as positions as Chair of the Board of groups such as the Victorian Trauma Foundation, Mental Illness Fellowship Victoria and Monash University Medical Foundation.

Through his experience as Minister for Health in Victoria, Mr Knowles has an extensive knowledge of food regulation. He also has a very high level of expertise in the field of public administration, having been a senior Minister in the Victorian Government for seven years with the Aged Care and Housing portfolios.

Dr Doug Powell – University of Guelph, Canada
Keynote speaker: Food Futures 9.45am Monday 11 October 2004

As an Associate Professor at the University of Guelph and Scientific Director of the Food Safety Network, Canada (, Dr Doug Powell has spent much of his professional career seeking to bridge the gaps between, science, society and policy through active engagement of stakeholders. He has led and continues to manage the development implementation and assessment of on-farm food safety programs for fresh produce.

His extension work with producers and consumers related to on-farm food safety and genetically modified food has resulted in numerous publications and receipt of the 2002 Canadian Agri-Food Award of Excellence for Agriculture Awareness and Education. Current and future research projects focus on how best to persuade individual producers, food service employees and consumers to acknowledge and adopt best practices to reduce the risk of foodborne illness.

Dr Powell is also developing a food safety policy program at the University of Guelph, based on numerous national and international collaborations, and building on the fundamentals of risk analysis.

Andrew McKenzie
Executive Director, New Zealand Food Safety Authority
Managing food safely – the New Zealand Experience. 11am 11 October 2004

Mr McKenzie has worked with the meat industry since graduating as a veterinarian in 1971, later adding a post graduate qualification in veterinary public health. In 1994 he became Administrator of the New Zealand Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry's (MAF) Regulatory Authority covering wider aspects of primary production including dairy products and the exports of all foods. It also included administration of MAF's biosecurity interests in the protection of New Zealand’s animal and plant health status.

In 1999 New Zealand split MAF’s Regulatory Authority to allow for the integration of the Ministry of Health's food safety functions with those of MAF and to give a greater focus on biosecurity. In 2002 the integrated food agency ‘New Zealand Food Safety Authority’ responsible for food policy and the New Zealand Food Regulatory Programme was set up under Mr McKenzie’s leadership, and he now holds the position of Executive Director.

Robert Carberry
Vice President, Programs Branch, Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Managing food safely – the Canadian Experience. 11am 11 October 2004

Robert Carberry is currently the Vice President of the Programs Branch, Canadian Food Inspection Agency. He is currently responsible for policy and programs related to food safety, olant health and products as well as animal health and products within the Agency.

Mr Carberry has a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture (Food Science) degree from the University of Manitoba and a Masters in Business Administration at the University of Ottawa. He was the recipient of the University of Ottawa's Award of Academic Excellence in 2001. He has held several programs and operational positions in his career with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and with Agriculture and Agri-food Canada and has worked in three of four areas. He has significant experience in regulatory matters, policy development and international market access. He has also had significant private sector expertise as President of a Sportswear Manufacturing company and as an owner and Director of a sporting goods business.

Clare Hughes
Food Policy Officer, Australian Consumers’ Association
Choice, Innovation and Direction – the Consumer experience 1.30pm 11 October 2004

As Food Policy Officer, Ms Hughes is responsible for ensuring that the interests of consumers are represented during the food policymaking and regulation processes. She engages with State and Territory, and Australian governments and interacts with industry and regulators through work on a variety of committees, also working with experts in the fields of nutrition, dietetics, food science and health. Among her areas of responsibility are issues such as genetic modification, food innovations and technology, food labelling, nutrition, health and related claims, and food regulation and standards development.

Ms Hughes currently sits on a number of FSANZ committees and working groups. She has graduate and postgraduate qualifications in nutrition, public health and health administration.

Richard Brooks
Managing Director of the National Food Industry Strategy
Choice, Innovation and Direction – Food Industry Innovation 1.30pm 11 October 2004

Richard Brooks has had an extensive career in the packaging and food industries. He has had direct involvement in the aluminium, glass and plastics industries and was ultimately responsible as Director of Group Supply for Coca Cola Amatil for their sourcing in Australia and in more than ten countries where they operated internationally.

The National Food Industry Strategy (NFIS) Ltd was established in July 2002 to be change agents for growth, innovation, sustainability and skills development for Australia’s multi-billion dollar food and beverage industry. Richard Brooks was appointed to the position of Managing Director of NFIS in November 2002.

Dick Wells
Chief Executive of the Australian Food and Grocery Council
Choice, Innovation and Direction – Industry Directions 1.30pm 11 October 2004

Mr Dick Wells took up his position as Chief Executive of the Australian Food and Grocery Council in July 2002. Mr Wells has previously held the positions of Executive Director of the Minerals Council of Australia and the Australian Petroleum Production Exploration Association (APPEA).

Mr Wells career has included working in a senior advisory capacity for three Commonwealth Government Ministers, a period in the public service and as an industry consultant. He has extensive experience and expertise in the management of policy issues affecting Australian industry. He is currently a Director of National Food Industry Strategy Ltd and is Chairman of the Food Chain Assurance Advisory Group (FCAAG), which provides coordination in addressing protective security issues affecting the food chain.

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