Food New Zealand Newsbites for 24 May 2016

Food Awards update 

Entries are now open for the 2016 NZ Food Awards.


Categories have been refreshed for 2016, with a new look safety award designed to drive a culture of food safety. We have merged the Restaurant and Cafe Artisan award in to the small manufacturing section. This replaces the sometimes confusing indulgent and convenience categories. Click here to see a full list of categories.

Visit the to submit your entry.


NZ Food Awards - Fit for Entry Workshop

– designed to help you put together a truly competitive entry into the NZ Food Awards. Whether you are a first-time entrant or back to chase that elusive trophy, this event will guide newcomers through the entry process, whilst giving industry veterans an update on the refreshed criteria structure.

Workshop One: June 1, 2016, Auckland

Gain insight into the entry and judging processes with Head Judge Kay McMath

Get your entry underway in our break-out application sessions

Learn more about how to apply for Callaghan's R& D grants with ATEED

Discover what a New Zealand Food Award can do for your business from previous winner, The Pure Food Co.

Register here


Progress on reducing retail availability of sugary drinks in New Zealand

From University of Otago Blogs

Posted on May 16, 2016 by Kate Sloane. Full blog here:


Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Cristina Cleghorn, Dr Andrea Teng, Dr Rob Beaglehole, Prof Tony Blakely

New Zealand has made some progress in removing the sale of sugary drinks from hospitals and schools. In this blog we look at such successes to date and consider what could be done to further reduce availability of these products which are both harming oral health and fuelling the obesity epidemic.

Recent successes around reducing access to SSBs in NZ include a request in 2015 from the Ministry of Health that public hospitals remove from sale all SSBs. There has also been encouragement from the Ministries of Education and Health in March 2016 for the removal of SSBs for sale from schools.

For NZ hospitals the process around SSB sales bans has taken 12 years since the first DHB moved on the issue (Waitemata DHB). Some still sell naturally-sweetened fruit juices, flavoured milk and diet soft drinks (e.g., Waikato DHB).

For schools, a survey in 2015 apparently showed 10% are now water-only, and just 5% still sell full-sugar ‘fizzy’ drinks. One of the first schools to become water-only was Yendarra School in Otara, Auckland, which eliminated sugary drinks 10 years ago.

U.S. National Academies find biotech crops not harmful

From IFT, The Weekly

More information here

An extensive study by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has found that new technologies in genetic engineering (GE) and conventional breeding are blurring the once clear distinctions between these two crop-improvement approaches. In addition, while recognising the inherent difficulty of detecting subtle or long-term effects on health or the environment, the study committee found no substantiated evidence of a difference in risks to human health between current commercially available genetically engineered crops and conventionally bred crops, nor did it find conclusive cause-and-effect evidence of environmental problems from the GE crops.

In releasing its report, the committee established a website that enables users to look up the places in the report that address comments received by the committee from the public, and also find the reasoning behind the report’s main findings and recommendations.

Key points of the report include:

Studies with animals and research on the chemical composition of GE foods currently on the market reveal no differences that would implicate a higher risk to human health and safety than from eating their non-GE counterparts.

The use of insect resistant or herbicide tolerant crops did not reduce the overall diversity of plant and insect life on farms, and sometimes insect resistant crops resulted in increased insect diversity.

Commercially available biotech crops had favourable economic outcomes for farmers who adopted these crops.

Insect resistant crops have had benefits to human health by reducing insecticide poisonings.

Several GE crops are in development that are designed to benefit human health.


Do you have a food recall plan?

From Food Standards News, FSANZ

A written food recall system is essential to ensure unsafe food can be quickly removed from the food supply chain.

FSANZ has recently produced a Food Recall Plan Template to help food businesses to develop their own food recall systems, including:

internal procedures and staff responsibilities for conducting a recall

contact details and procedures for notification (e.g. FSANZ and home state, distributors, wholesalers, retailers and consumers)

distribution and other records that will help identify and retrieve the recalled food

procedures for food retrieval and assessing any returned product.

Get started – download the Food Recall Plan template.