Food Regulation Policy Framework

This framework sets out the process for identifying and assessing a potential food regulatory issue and deciding the appropriate policy response.

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Publication type:
Strategy or framework
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In Step A, the authorising environment requires clear scope, objectives and permission. It includes risk analysis – the use of risk tools to assess the priority and ensure the case for action is made.

After Step A, there is equal time investment in:

  • policy initiation (steps B and C) – a third of effort and time will focus on understanding the issue and developing a case
  • policy development and evidence (steps D, E and F) – a third of focus and time on outcomes, opinions and recommendation/advice
  • evaluation and review (steps G, H and I) – a third of effort and time on implementation and evaluating the effectiveness of the policy.

Step B (understand the issue):

  • Does the risk affect more than one jurisdiction?
  • Analysis and assessment
  • Is the case made?

Step C is Gateway 1. The options are:

  • agreed priority for bi-national response –goes to the next step
  • no further action
  • jurisdictional response.

In Step D (describe the desired outcome), define success and intent.

In Step E (develop and evaluate options), the options are:

  • no action
  • not regulatory
  • regulatory
  • exploring, designing and testing – consider outcomes.

The full range of regulatory and non-regulatory and government or industry initiated options need to be explored in Step E, including:

  • education
  • partnering
  • communication and information
  • voluntary industry standards
  • industry codes of practice
  • incentive programs
  • co-regulatory arrangements
  • industry-driven alternative solutions
  • development of food standards.

In Step F (policy advice), there is a recommendation and policy advice to ministers.

Step G is Gateway 2 – go or no go. 

In Step H (build and implement), put in place the selected option. 

In Step I (evaluation of effectiveness of policy), results will feed back into the policy strategy to reinforce why the issue required development.

This process (steps B to I) is flexible to facilitate back and to ensure issues are assessed adequately. A decision to discontinue the process can be made at any point.

Steps J and H occur throughout steps B to I. In Step J (communicate and engage):

  • engage stakeholders
  • listen to feedback
  • consider partnering
  • communicate on status
  • consider implementation early.

In Step K (data, information and evidence):

  • conduct an environment scan
  • give stakeholders access to all data
  • keep a central catalogue of known available data and potential source
  • explore trusted partnerships
  • use a range of risk tools with varying criteria throughout the process
  • use the information and evidence to better inform risk analysis.
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