Cheesemakers have a reason to smile

Cheesemakers are set to benefit from a more modern and common-sense approach to food safety regulation, says Food Safety Minister Damien O’Connor. 

Delighted to be a guest at The Great Eketahuna Cheese Festival today, Mr O’Connor launched the Food Safety Template for Cheesemakers – a tool to help cheesemakers producing cheese for New Zealand and Australia to meet food safety requirements.  

Cheese producers are required under the Food Act and the Animal Products Act to have a written plan to manage food safety risks on a day-to-day basis.  

“Over the years this has become burdensome and costly for cheesemakers who build plans from scratch and have them verified under two laws, says Damien O’Connor.

 “The Food Safety Template for Cheesemakers, developed for the first time in partnership with artisan cheesemakers, pulls together regulatory requirements – making it easier and cheaper to meet important food safety standards.

 “Everyone has a role to play in food safety and in the spirit of manaakitanga this Government cares for our food producers as well as those we are feeding.

 “Last week I launched New Zealand Food Safety – a new business unit in MPI – and tasked it to look at ways to make compliance easier for our small, regional and rural food businesses because their nimbleness and creativity are key to helping the food producing sector reach higher up the value chain.

 “We will keep working with our food producers to help them build the tools they need to meet food safety requirements in the most efficient way,” says Damien O’Connor.