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Report on performance

Figure 2: Reporting framework

Annual Performance Statement

Our reporting outcomes are linked with our portfolio agency, the Australian Government Department of Health, Outcome 1.

Through Program 1.1 the Australian Government aims to:

  • ensure effective, evidence-based food standards
  • coordinate food regulation to protect public health and safety
  • provide food-related information.

The qualitative deliverables set by the portfolio agency and our performance against those deliverables are detailed on the following page.

Statement of preparation

As the accountable authority of Food Standards Australia New Zealand, I present the 2019–20 annual performance statements for Food Standards Australia New Zealand, as required under paragraph 39(1)(a) of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act).

In my opinion, these annual performance statements accurately reflect the performance of Food Standards Australia New Zealand’s performance in the reporting period 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020, and comply with section 39(2) of the PGPA Act.

Robyn Kruk signature

Robyn Kruk

Chair of the FSANZ Board

Portfolio budget statements

Outcome 1

A safe food supply and well-informed consumers in Australia and New Zealand, including through the development of food regulatory measures and the promotion of their consistent implementation, coordination of food recall activities and the monitoring of consumer and industry food practice

Program 1.1

Food Regulatory Activity and Services to the Minister and Parliament.

The Australian Government aims to ensure that all Australians have access to a safe food supply and adequate, accurate information to make informed choices about the food they consume. FSANZ develops food standards that are informed by the best available evidence and enables efficient implementation of food laws. It coordinates trans-jurisdictional food regulatory activities, and provides information about foor regulation in order to enhance confidence in food for sale.


Developing food standards

  • develop standards in response to applications and proposals to amend the Food Standards Code.

Providing advice and coordinating regulatory responses

  • coordinate food incident responses and food recalls.
  • undertake monitoring and surveillance activities to ensure that regulatory and non-regulatory activities achieve their objectives.

Providing information about food standards

  • provide authoritative evidence-based information about food to stakeholders and consumers.

Our performance story

In accordance with the reporting requirements of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act), the 2019–20 Corporate Plan identified seven key performance areas to measure and report on our success for the year. Reporting against these seven areas provides assurance that FSANZ is delivering on intended outcomes as identified in the Corporate Plan each year.

Specific performance measures in the seven areas were developed subsequent to the publication of the 2019–20 Corporate Plan. The measures were designed to ensure that there was clarity about whether they were quantitative or qualitative, that they were measurable within existing resources and data sources, and would potentially establish future year targets or allow monitoring over time.

The seven performance areas and their respective measures along with the results for the 2019–20 FY are reported below. Some of the measures overlap with PBS measures, as indicated by an *.

Coordination of food recalls

FSANZ has a role as a coordinator of food recalls. We routinely collect satisfaction ratings after every food recall. Additionally, the Bi-National Food Safety Network are a group of government representatives from all states, territories and select Commonwealth Agencies. FSANZ’s role is to provide secretariat support and coordinate incident response during a food issue or incident.





The food regulatory system is coordinated

% of recall sponsors satisfied with FSANZ information and assistance

To date, 100% of recall sponsors are satisfied or very satisfied with FSANZ information and assistance.

Last financial year, we coordinated 99 recalls and received 84 post recall reports providing a satisfaction rating. Ratings that have not been received may be due to reports not yet being due or the sponsor has been lost to follow up. This year FSANZ received a satisfaction rating of 100%. This is unchanged from last year’s rating.

% of Bi-National Food Safety Network agencies satisfied with FSANZ role in incident response

100% of Bi-National Food Safety Network agencies reported being satisfied with FSANZ’s role in incident response.

This is the first year FSANZ has collected a satisfaction rating for incident response. The outcome shows a high level of satisfaction with FSANZ’s services and FSANZ will continue to strive towards this level of satisfaction.

Coordinate major food incidents under the National Food Incident Response Protocol (the Protocol).

FSANZ coordinated 99 food recalls from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020.

13 issues were referred to the Bi-National Food Safety Network including Salmonella Weltevreden linked to frozen meals and Listeria monocytogenes in enoki mushrooms from South Korea. FSANZ also shared information to the network on food safety and coronavirus.

Management and completion of applications and proposals

Our main function is to develop and raise awareness about food standards. These standards, which become part of the legislation in the jurisdictions, provide confidence in our food supply by providing assurance that food sold in Australia and New Zealand is safe and suitable.





Timely and consistent processing of applications and proposals

% applications completed within the statutory timeframe

17/18 or 94%

All applications were completed within statutory timelines except for one (A1155)2. In comparison, 100% of applications in the 2018–19 reporting year were completed within statutory timeframes.

% of applications that are completed ahead of the statutory timeframe

4/18 or 22%

Four applications were completed ahead of their statutory due date in that they were approved by the Board in advance of the last possible meeting at which they could be approved.

% of proposals that meet agreed progress timeframes

8/13 or 61%

Proposals P1050, P1054 and M1017 all met their scheduled timelines and Proposals P1028, P1044, P1052, P1053, and P1055 all progressed in accordance with revised timelines as approved by their relevant Delegate.

% of accepted applications that have used the draft application process

15/32 or 47%

FSANZ offers assistance to applicants as through the draft application process. The intention is to ensure applications include all required information FSANZ needs to complete an assessment and ensure the assessment process is efficient. Of the applications accepted and assessed in this financial year, we provided comments on almost 50% through the draft application process.

% of accepted applications that the draft process included meetings (face-to-face or teleconference) with FSANZ.

10/32 or 31%

FSANZ also offers one face to face meeting to applicants to assist them with information requirements. Meetings were held with 31% of applicants prior to formal submission of their application, mostly in addition to comments on their drafts.

2 The statutory timeframe for A1155 – 2’-FL and LNnT in infant formula and other products was initially extended for six months under 109(4) of the FSANZ Act 1991 due to its complexity. Approval was further delayed due a number of concerns raised after public consultation on the proposed amendments. The FSANZ Board approved the proposed variation to the Food Standards Code on 20 December 2020 and following consideration by the Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation, a Review was requested on 5 March 2020.

Regulatory science

Science is a critical core competency that underpins our ability to achieve our purpose. High quality regulatory science is based on the best available evidence, incorporates information from numerous disciplines and forms the foundation for our evidence-based regulatory decision-making that protects people from hazards that may arise from food.





FSANZ has a modern scientific evidence base and applies best practice tools and methods

New data and analysis generated or shared to support food safety and standards development

FSANZ takes an evidence-based approach to determine food safety risks and prepares risk advice for imported food. This advice informs the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment on whether imported foods pose a potential medium or high risk to public health. During this period FSANZ published 36 imported food risk advice documents, providing risk advice on a range of foods and associated hazards. This work contributes to our overarching objective to ensure food imported into Australia is safe. FSANZ staff also contributed to 10 articles published in scientific peer-reviewed journals.

Number of

» new scientific data and analysis items shared by FSANZ to externals

» scientific data items shared by externals to FSANZ

» 59

» 2

Skill development in, or application of risk assessment methods

We participate in numerous fora to ensure we apply modern risk assessment tools and methods to support risk-based approaches consistent with international methods. FSANZ staff continually develop their skills in risk assessment methodologies to enable robust anddefensible scientific assessments. In 2019–20 expert elicitation was used to inform our work in the area of food safety. This approach has provided the best available scientific information to inform cost benefit analysis work enabling FSANZ to assess the burden of illness associated with high risk horticulture products. Ultimately this work ensures science-based regulations and procedures facilitate efficient trade and maintains our position as a leader of regulatory science in the region.

» number of engagements with domestic and international experts by staff to share an develop capability in risk assessment methods

» 51

FSANZ links and partners with key contributors

Collaborations and joint projects

Joint projects are an important way that FSANZ leverages scientific expertise and resources. Together with our partners in academia, industry, research institutions and government, FSANZ has progressed 22 unique and formalised joint projects; 16 of which are externally funded. Three joint projects undertaken with New Zealand Food Safety were successfully finalised, demonstrating a collaborative resolution of regulatory issues and with research findings currently being incorporated into our scientific evidence base.

Number of

» joint projects during the period

» 22

Leveraging external scientific expertise

FSANZ has numerous established groups and programs to facilitate interactions with scientific experts. We strive to increase engagement for the purpose of sharing expertise and improving the robustness of our scientific risk assessments. The FSANZ fellows program was developed to create a network of experts who can provide FSANZ with objective expert advice and critical review. The program also helps to develop academic links and networks. FSANZ has had 20 Fellows engaged through the program during this period, including 5 new appointments. For the first time we have engaged a Fellow with expertise in science communication, who has been facilitating our communication activities including the area of new breeding techniques.

Number of:

» productive interactions with FSANZ Fellows

» 31

» meetings of FSANZ expert advisory groups and/or engagements for peer review

» 12

» seminars delivered to FSANZ staff by external scientific experts

» 13

Communication to stakeholders

Good communication and engagement is critical to the work of FSANZ. It builds trust in the safety of food and gives confidence to the community and industry that the decisions we make are transparent and protect the health and wellbeing of consumers.





Our information is accurate, current, and meets stakeholder needs

Number of new topics/ publications developed and published on the website


We published nine new reports and publications to the FSANZ website. New topics published to our consumer and business pages included COVID-19 and food safety, cell-based meats and food incident pages.

Number of existing topics reviewed and updated

100+ reviewed

60 updated

We reviewed over 100 of our webpages relating to food labelling, genetically modified foods, caffeine, food recalls and food safety.

Number of media enquiries to FSANZ


The majority of enquiries related to food recalls, Standards Development work (caffeine, pregnancy warning labels on alcoholic beverages, GM food) general labelling requirements and COVID-19.

% of responses provided by the deadline (target >99%)


Number of visits to the FSANZ website


Visits the FSANZ website increased by around 20 percent in 2019–20 (up from 1,840,000 in 2018–19).

Number of social media followers and interactions (reactions, retweets, shares)


234,00 interactions

Our social media audience increased by over 5,300 in 2019–20 from the previous year.

Number of messages/ enquiries managed via social media

126 enquiries were managed via our social media channels

Enquiries received and managed via our social media channels related largely to food recalls, food complaints and regulations in the Code for labelling.

Engagement with our stakeholders

We have many formal channels to engage with our stakeholders who play an important part in informing our work and contribute to the rigour of our processes. These cover a spectrum of food safety and food regulatory science topics and includes Codex committees and taskforces, international liaison groups, domestic committees and liaison groups from the retail, consumer, and government sectors, as well as scientific advisory groups. We monitor stakeholder satisfaction with our level of engagement through a bi-annual survey and our biennial stakeholder forum.





Deep engagement with domestic and international stakeholders

% of respondents that indicate satisfaction with FSANZ performance*


Our 2019 Stakeholder satisfaction and engagement survey was held between April and June 2019. In total 632 responses were received (up from 537 in 2017). Overall satisfaction with FSANZ performance was slightly down on the previous survey results (71% satisfaction in 2017). Strategies to engage with stakeholders and discuss opportunities for improvement will be explored in the coming year.

% of respondents that indicated understanding of FSANZ’s role to:

Compared to results from the 2017 survey3 there was an overall increase (approximately 10% over most roles listed) in stakeholders’ understanding of FSANZ’s roles in the Food Regulatory System. There continues to be some confusion regarding parts of FSANZ’s role in the broader food regulatory system. 23 percent of respondents believe we have responsibility for enforcing food laws, this is unchanged from the previous survey (results not shown).

» Coordinate surveys

» Develop binational food standards

» Develop industry codes of practice

» Develop interpretive guides for enforcement agencies

» Increase public awareness of food standards

» Test for food safety and composition

» 44

» 85

» 64

» 75

» 83

» 34

Deep engagement with domestic and international stakeholders

Number of attendees to the 2019 FSANZ biennial stakeholder forum


The FSANZ Stakeholder Forum was held in March 2019 (i.e. previous financial year)

Total number of survey respondents from:


The results from that stakeholder forum are reported here as a baseline for comparison to future fora. A survey was used to collect feedback from attendees immediately following the 2019 event. This survey will be repeated for subsequent fora.

» Food industry

» Peak associations

» Federal government

» State government

» Consultants

» Academic

» Other

» 39

» 13

» 13

» 5

» 12

» 6

» 9

Number (%) of survey respondents that give positive feedback

88 (91%)

Regulatory and food safety fora attended by FSANZ staff:

Staff regularly present FSANZ work or represent FSANZ at conference and meetings. We also host meeting and international delegations in our

offices. We have quantitated these interactions as a proxy measure of FSANZ commitment to stakeholder engagement and recognition of our expertise. The aim is to track these

over time. The number of tele- or online meetings may be high for this financial year due to isolation policies in place in response to the

COVID-19 pandemic.

» Conferences*

— Total number attended

— Number with invitation to speak

» Stakeholder meetings**

— Total number attended

— Number face to face attended

— Number hosted by FSANZ (including 4 international delegations)

— Number tele- or online meetings attended (including 11 with international groups)

» 35

» 13

» 95

» 42

» 29

» 24

3 https://www.foodstandards.gov.au/publications/Pages/2017-Stakeholder-Survey-Results.aspx

* includes domestic and international

** stakeholders include government, industry, science and academia, and public health professionals but excludes interactions considered part of FSANZ core business (e.g. processing of applications and proposals).

Staff engagement and workplace culture

Staff engagement and workplace culture are primary factors that enable us to meet our core objectives. The APS Census includes measures for staff engagement, wellbeing, and promotion of inclusion and diversity. Because the 2020 APS Census (normally conducted in May) was delayed till late 2020 due to COVID-19, results from the 2019 Census compared the to 2018 Census are reported here. Staff engagement and workplace culture were supported in the 2019–20 FY through the introduction and implementation of measures including the Health & Wellbeing plan, Culture Change action plan and the development and embedding of the FSANZ Values (launched in June 2018) through the Values weeks.





Staff are engaged and have corresponding levels of wellbeing

Employee engagement scores

» % positive (2019)

» % positive (2018)

» 74%

» 72%

The 2019 employee engagement scores and wellbeing index were not substantially different from 2018.

» Wellbeing index (2019)

» Wellbeing index (2018)

» 62%

» 65%

The 2019 scores for all three areas (including inclusion and diversity scores) are down -1%, -7% and -5% respectively compared to similar sized agencies in the APS.

Inclusion and diversity scores on “My agency supports and actively promotes an inclusive workplace culture”

In 2019–20 we undertook a number of measures to support staff engagement and workplace culture. These included the introduction of the Health & Wellbeing plan, implementation of the culture action plan, and the embedding of the FSANZ Values.

» % positive (2019)

» % positive (2018)

» 70%

» 55%

Our workplace culture delivers high performance

Percentage of staff completing IWDP reviews by deadline:

The Individual Work and Development Plan (IWDP) is completed by all FSANZ employee to help link individual and organisational performance. The IWDP cycle is split into four periods ensuring staff have regular reviews with their managers or team leaders. The high degree of completion of the IWDP process reflects staff commitment to FSANZ performance and development.

» 1st quarter

» Mid-year

» 3rd quarter

» End of year

» 95.83

» 93.33

» 88.33

» 84.074

4 The decline in completion is due to a number of new staff who are required to work through Q1 – Q4 to qualify for full completion.

Consumer trust in food labels and in the food regulatory system

Trust in food labelling is important to FSANZ as it ensures consumers may make informed food choices that suit their individual needs. FSANZ also strives to ensure trust in its role within the broader Food Regulatory System. FSANZ undertook two surveys (in 2015 and 2007) to evaluate consumer trust in food labelling and FSANZ’s role in the Food Regulatory System. FSANZ is continuing to work with partners to develop an instrument to collect reliable data on trust and confidence in the food labelling and the food system. This work includes reviews of academic, consultancy research, and reporting by other government agencies about consumer trust.





Consumers trust food labelling

% of respondents who respond positively about trust in the information on food labels

Results are reported from the 2015 Consumer Label Survey5 as baseline measures. New data on this performance measure will require additional funding which was not available in this reporting period.

FSANZ did not undertake review of external reports in this financial year.

» Australian consumers

» New Zealand consumers

» 67%

» 77%

% of external reports (academic, consultancy research, other government agencies) that report positively about consumer trust in food labels.


Consumers have confidence in FSANZ

% of respondents who report having confidence in FSANZ

Results are reported from the 2007 Consumer Attitudes Survey as baseline measures.6 FSANZ has not collected new data on this performance measure. We are currently seeking approaches to progress this work through collaboration with external provider or academia and collection of new data.

FSANZ did not undertake review of external reports in this financial year.

» Australian consumers

» New Zealand consumers

» 55%

» 49%

% of external reports (academic, consultancy research, other government agencies) that report positively about consumer confidence in FSANZ and FRS


5 https://www.foodstandards.gov.au/publications/Pages/consumerlabelsurvey2015.aspx

6 https://www.foodstandards.gov.au/publications/pages/consumerattitiudes/Default.aspx