Australia and the US have signed a bilateral Food Safety Recognition Agreement set to boost Australian exporters’ competitiveness in the US market.
The reciprocal recognition means each country recognises the other’s food safety and regulation systems.
Department of Agriculture and Water Resources head of exports, Greg Read, said this would result in fewer in-country audits, with compliance to be managed by the exporting country.
“The upshot is that this will greatly simplify Australian exports to the US through greater reliance on our national food control systems that ensure the production of safe food,” Read said.
“This is good for our businesses, as it positions Australia as a safe source of food supply for the US market that will place our exporters in a position of benefit compared with other exporting countries that don’t have this agreement.”
Australia is just the third country to sign a bilateral food safety agreement with the US, and while not all foods are included in the agreement, it does cover fresh fruit, vegetables, seafood and dairy as well as some other products.
“These preferential processes will encourage trade between our two nations that can only be good news for our farmers and growing their profits,” Read added. “This work has taken five years to finalise and I thank the Australian and US authorities for their diligence in determining the compatibility of our systems culminating in this agreement.
“Behind the scenes, work like this can have real benefits to producers in Australia as our safe, high quality produce has even stronger credentials when compared with produce from a country that does not have its food safety systems recognised.”