28th March, 2017 A three-day consultation workshop hosted by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food is underway at Tungi Colonade Conference Room aiming to finalize the Food Bill 2017 and Food Regulations 2017.
Deputy Director and Head of the Food Division, Metuisela Falesiva, in his welcoming remarks stressed that this consultation is about dealing with the public in bringing their viewpoints on the Food Act that was passed in 2014. The viewpoints and feedback that will be collected after this three-day consultation will help finalize an outcome for the Food Bill and Food Regulations 2017.
A local legislative drafting consultant funded by the Food Agriculture Organization (FAO), Mrs. Sela Bloomfield, helped the ministry to develop the Bill and Regulations.
She said that initially, she was engaged to develop Food Regulations under the Food Act 2014. However, during this review the project team recognized that there were certain provisions in the Food Act 2014 that needed to be amended or incorporated, in order for the Act and Regulations to be implemented effectively.
The purpose for the Act are to regulate the manufacture, sale, import and export of food for commercial purposes, to guarantee food safety and fitness for human consumption, and to promote fair trade practices in the food sector in Tonga.
After this week’s consultations the Food Bill 2017 and Food Regulations 2017 will be finalized before being presented to cabinet for approval and to be processed through the legislative process.
Present in yesterday’s sessions were representatives from government line ministries, district and town officers and representatives from different churches. Consultations will continue with private sector representatives and other stakeholders tomorrow.
Issued by the: Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change and Communications