‘Safe and Trustworthy Food for Everyone’
“The Food Safety Authority Ireland (FSAI) today published its strategy for 2016 – 2018, which sets out its core vision of safe and trustworthy food for everyone and its mission of protecting consumers by leading a collaborative food safety community to continuously raise food standards and create a culture of excellence.
A healthy population with access to safe food and the ability to make informed choices about the food it eats is the foundation of a healthy society and a fully functioning economy. The Food Safety Authority Ireland aims to ensure through regulation and collaboration that food produced here is to the highest possible standards for both domestic and export markets. As one of the first single food safety authorities established in the world, the new strategic approach will also reinforce The Food Safety Authority Ireland’s national and international reputation for excellence by continuing to review the regulatory landscape; industry innovations; advances in technology; new and emerging risks; and globalisation and lengthening of the food supply chain.
The five strategic goals contained in the strategy are:
- Lead a regulatory culture where everyone is passionate about achieving the highest standards of food. Achieved by providing a framework for regulating food which allows for effective enforcement, whilst also ensuring a partnership approach that really engages all stakeholders. Ultimately striving for a world class official control system that delivers the best outcomes for consumers.
- Use the best scientific knowledge, evidence and expertise to underpin policy and risk analysis in respect of food safety. Strengthen and develop engagement with national, European and international food safety, integrity and nutrition experts as appropriate to deliver robust advice to underpin all FSAI decision-making. In addition, providing high quality, independent, scientific advice to Government to inform and influence food policy.
- Create an environment where Ireland is a trusted and recognised leader in food safety and integrity. Set standards that are practical and recognised globally and working in partnership with consumer advocacy groups to address consumers’ needs. Build capacity and capability to allow Ireland to react and deal effectively with any national or international food incident or crisis.
- Develop the organisation with an ethos that is true to its values. Foster a culture of respect, integrity and humility, which is non-discriminatory and supports equality. Deliver a robust system of corporate governance to ensure accountability, transparency and public value.
- Adopt a digital-first approach to maximise accessibly, efficiency and effectiveness. Enhance data collection and analysis to gain a deeper understanding of the environment in which the FSAI operates and inform decision making. Utilising technology as a foundation for innovation.
Prof. Michael Gibney, Chairman, FSAI commented that the FSAI continues to place the consumer at the centre of all its activities. Consumers have a fundamental right to safe food and also that they are not being misled about the food they are purchasing or eating.
“Our new strategy sets out a clearly defined vision, mission, values and strategic goals that will guide the organisation into 2018 and sets a new strategic platform for the future. Delivering this strategy will require working in collaboration with our stakeholders, as well as the Irish and global food safety community to ensure access to timely and accurate information that underpins our risk assessment and risk management systems to ensure safe and trustworthy food for everyone. I look forward to, along with my fellow Board members, supporting the CEO and FSAI staff on its new strategy for the coming years”.
Dr Pamela Byrne, Chief Executive, FSAI added, “It is essential that we continue to work closely with the food safety inspectorate and the national laboratories to ensure they have the tools and materials to carry out their enforcement responsibilities. The overall strategic approach will allow us to build upon and strengthen the reputation of the FSAI by further developing our partnership approach that will ensure a robust food safety regulatory system that is responsive, relevant and progressive into the future”.
Minister Marcella Corcoran Kennedy welcomed the strategy stating, “It demonstrates the breadth of work that is carried out by the FSAI while providing a clear roadmap for its work over the coming years”. She said, “There is nothing more fundamental to our health and wellbeing than the food we eat each and every day. We all like to know that someone, somewhere, is safeguarding our interests to ensure that the food we serve and eat meets with the highest hygiene and food safety standards”. The Minister acknowledged the work of the FSAI and the official agencies that work with it in this regard. She also noted the FSAI’s expert input and advice to the Department of Health on a range of food safety and hygiene matters, recognising how important it is to the development of food policy and legislation.”