Maintaining and enhancing market access for Australian seafood is critical for future industry survival and growth, particularly during and following the COVID-19 epidemic. SafeFish makes a significant contribution to this by carrying out the following:
1. Food safety incident response. SafeFish provides industry and government with immediate technical information required to respond to incidents relating to food safety and/or market access. Subsequently, technical input is provided to update policies for prevention of similar incidents and respond to them should they recur. Appropriate technical responses reduce the impact of food safety incidents and ensure better outcomes for future management.
2. Technical input to inter-government consultations on food regulations and market access. It is essential for the Australian seafood industry to participate in consultations such as Codex and monitor top export destination regulatory changes through WTO SPS notifications to ensure that proposed new, or modified, regulations are pragmatic and cost-effective for the Australian seafood industry. It is far easier to influence standards under development than after they have been finalised. Similarly, it is essential for the seafood industry to stay in close contact with Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) when domestic food safety regulations are reviewed.
3. Proactive research, risk analyses and training. The safety of Australian seafood is not negotiable in domestic and international markets. Over recent years SafeFish has conducted many activities to assist the industry anticipate and minimize food safety risks. The objective of these activities has always been to identify and mitigate risks before they cause a problem, or to grow knowledge to enable us to improve our risk management in a cost effective manner.