Dunedin is the venue for an international food safety
conference in November - the first time it has been held
Delegates from China and the United States will attend the
event which is part of the Global Food Safety Forum.
It is being organised by Dr Helen Darling, executive director
at the Global Food Safety Forum/ New Zealand and one of the
founders of Oritain Global Ltd, which has pioneered global
food verification systems.
GFSF is a US-based not-for-profit organisation with a diverse
membership of multinational companies in the global food
chain, Chinese companies, US state departments of agriculture
and trade associations.
Its focus is on the global food chain, with its committee
centring on international concerns in creating and validating
multi-industry standards, tightening certification
procedures, offering training workshops to companies and
advancing quality controls.
Dr Darling expected between 150 and 200 people to attend the
conference, which will be held at the Dunedin Public Art
Gallery from November 13 to 15, with a dinner at Larnach
She was excited at the prospect of bringing together
regulators, importers and food safety experts for what would
be a ''very broad'' discussion about food safety.
One of the big sessions would be looking at doing some
predictions of ''what the next crisis'' was going to be.
That session would involve looking at emerging threats and at
ways to address those potential issues before they became a
While it was a coincidence, Dr Darling acknowledged the
timing of the conference was rather significant, given recent
food safety issues, which included the Fonterra contamination
scare and problems with New Zealand manuka honey.
One delegation, after the conference, wanted to visit dairy
producers in New Zealand.
There was an opportunity for trade to come about; it was not
just all about knowledge exchange but the ability to build
relationships, and there was also an opportunity for academic
exchange as well as business exchange, she said.
In the South, primary industries and knowledge were done
''very well'' and there was an opportunity to ''showcase''
both to the visitors, she said.
Dr Darling hoped the conference could become an annual event
held in the city.