New Zealand Embassy Seoul, South Korea
Seoul Food Forum focuses on food safety
New Zealand was well represented at the 2nd Seoul Food and Beverage Forum, which this year had a food safety theme.
The half-day Forum, hosted by the Financial News, attracted around 150 participants to the Conrad Hotel in Yeouido on 10 April 2014.
New Zealand Ambassador Patrick Rata joined Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Minister Lee Dong-phil, Food and Drug Safety Minister Jeong Seung, Financial News President Gweon Seong-cheol, and Korea Food Industry Association Chair Park In-gu in delivering opening remarks.
New Zealand's Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Market Access Coordiantion Manager Neil McLeod travelled to Seoul on the invitation of the Forum organisers to present on New Zealand's food safety policy.
Both New Zealand speakers highlighted that New Zealand exports nearly 80% of the food it produces because of its small population size. The New Zealand Government and New Zealand businesses themselves put a lot of effort into protecting the health of our consumers, both at home and overseas, since maintaing New Zealand's reputation as a supplier of high quality, safe and healthy food and beverage products is essential to the country's economic livelihood.
Mr McLeod outlined how MPI invests in setting good rules, auditing and monitoring systems, so that food and beverage producers can manage the food safety risks effectively.
In communicating risk, Mr McLeod said MPI was swift and honest in providing information to consumers and overseas authorities in the case of a possible food safety incident as it was important to tell our consumers what we don't know, as well as what we do know.
Other themes discussed at the conference were the Korean Government's plans to continue to strengthen its food safety systems and to enhance the competitiveness of its agricultural sector in order to take advantage of the opportunity that exists to export more food and beverage products to the Chinese market.