The NSW Government has released a new eight-year strategy to enhance biosecurity and food safety in NSW and to help protect our $23 billion primary industries.
Minister for Agriculture and Western NSW Dugald Saunders said the Biosecurity and Food Safety Strategy 2022-2030 is a critical underpinning guide in a time of unprecedented biosecurity risks.
“This year alone, we have experienced a genuine threat of Foot and Mouth Disease and Lumpy Skin Disease incursions, a Varroa mite outbreak, the emergence of Japanese encephalitis, a White Spot Disease scare and unprecedented rainfall increasing the threat of mosquito borne diseases and the spread of weeds,” Mr Saunders said.
“The Biosecurity and Food Safety Strategy recognises that prevention and preparedness are key to minimising the impact and costs of incursions and outbreaks on industries, our communities and the environment.
“Every day, the people of NSW rely on our biosecurity and food safety systems to ensure they have safe, fresh, top quality food on their plates and fibre on their backs – so this strategy is an important step forward in protecting our $23.1 billion primary industries sector and $30 billion food and beverage manufacturing sector now and well into the future.”
The NSW Biosecurity and Food Safety Strategy 2022-2030 focuses on four priority objectives:
- Preparing and preventing – The adopting of innovative solutions to effectively manage future and emerging threats through improved prediction, early detection, and better understanding of risk pathways.
- Timely and proportionate responses – Making informed decisions to proportionately act on biosecurity and food safety threats, including sharing information with governments, industry and communities to reduce the social and economic costs through rapid response, sound traceability systems and coordinated management of outbreaks and incidents.
- Rapid and efficient containment – Protecting our trade reputation and ongoing market access by increasing our capacity to contain and effectively manage risks. This includes effective multi-agency and response protocols such as early alerts, product recalls to contain food-related risks and use of technology like artificial intelligence to detect emerging issues and proactively intervene.
- Partnerships –Leveraging partnerships with governments, industry, research bodies and the private sector to share information, reduce costs and increase economic, environmental and community outcomes to benefit every person in NSW.
Mr Saunders said NSW is leading the way in the fight against emerging biosecurity and food safety threats.
“In 2022 alone, the NSW Government has invested $229 million in biosecurity measures – the biggest investment by a single jurisdiction in pest and disease control in our country,” he said.
“It is important our farmers and communities know the NSW Government takes biosecurity extremely seriously and this strategy will arm us with the appropriate guidance and process should we ever find ourselves in an emergency biosecurity or food safety situation.”
“Likewise, partnerships between the NSW Food Authority, the food industry, NSW Health, local councils and the wider community are critical to reduce food poisoning and its impacts on the health and economy of NSW communities. There has been much success in the last 6 years with a 30 per cent reduction in the rates of human illness caused by Salmonella.”
The Biosecurity and Food Safety Strategy was developed in consultation with a cross section of government, industry and community stakeholders, including NSW Health, NSW Farmers, Australian Pork Ltd, CSIRO, GS1, NSW Wine Industry Association, CropLife Australia, the Country Women’s Association of NSW and the Invasive Species Council.
To read the Strategy in full, visit www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/bfs-strategy