Inquiry into the Impact of Food Safety Regulation on Farm and Other Businesses

Terms of Reference

That, under s33 of the Parliamentary Committees Act 2003, an inquiry into the impact of food safety regulation on farm and other businesses regulated under the Dairy Act 2000, the Meat Industry Act 1993, and the Seafood Act 2003 be referred to the Rural and Regional Committee for consideration and report no later than 30 March 2013, and the Committee is asked to:

(1) explore the cost competitiveness to regulated businesses of food safety laws administered by PrimeSafe and Dairy Food Safety Victoria (DFSV);

(2)  have a particular focus on small business;

(3) investigate and assess:

(a) the extent and appropriateness of regulatory burden impact of national primary production and processing standards on regulated businesses in Victoria;

(b) the comparison of alternative methods to assess compliance with required standards and food safety outcomes;

(c) incentives for improved performance to reduce regulatory burden such as ‘earned recognition’ systems;

(d) how regulators can support businesses to understand and achieve compliance with regulations;

(e) how regulators can promote business continuity and improved compliance where non-compliance with regulations is identified;

(f)   non-regulatory methods for achieving required food safety outcomes;

(g) the comparison of requirements under legislation administered by PrimeSafe and DFSV with existing regulatory requirements under the Food Act 1984 for businesses with equivalent food safety risks;

(h) the comparison of requirements under legislation administered by PrimeSafe and DFSV with regulatory requirements administered by the Australian Quarantine Inspection Service for exports;

(i)   the application of food safety regulations to farm-gate sales of unprocessed and on-farm processed produce, given the desire for some agricultural producers to innovate and value-add on farm;

(4) consider the findings of other relevant reviews and evidence from other systems implemented either in Australia or internationally; and

(5) have regard to public health outcomes, the costs of implementation for business and government, and the facilitation of market access and exports.

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Last Updated on Thursday, 07 June 2012