Joint Meeting Minutes of the Food Safety Consultative Council and the FSAI Board - 20 January 2014

Minutes of the Joint Meeting of the Food Safety Consultative Council and the FSAI Board on 20 January 2014 in the Clarion, IFSC

Members Present

Ms Veronica Campbell (Chair), [VC]
Mr Cormac Healy, [CH]
Mr Martin Roper, [MR]
Ms Sinead Finnegan, [SF]
Mr Dermott Jewell, [DJ]
Ms Breda Raggett, [BR] ]
Mr Ray Bowe, [RB]
Ms Maree Gallagher [MGa] 
Ms Margaret Leahy [ML]
Prof. Mike Gibney [MG]
Mr Tim O’Brien [TO’B]
Ms Paula Mee [PM]

Apologies for Absence

Dr Susanne Boyd [SB]
Prof. Albert Flynn [AF]

In Attendance

Mr Raymond Ellard [RE]
Ms Eileen Lippert [EL
Ms Margaret Campbell [MC]
Prof. Alan Reilly [AR]
Ms Paula Mee [PM]
Mr Ciaran Fitzgerald [CF]

Board Members

Prof. Mike Gibney [MG]
Dr Susan Quinn [SQ]
Mr Derek Cunningham [DC]
Mr Raymond O’Rourke [RO’R]
Prof. Patrick Wall [PW]

1. Introduction to the Meeting

AR welcomed and thanked everyone for attending the meeting.   He explained the purpose of this joint meeting and outlined the roles of the FSAI, the FSCC and the Board.  He invited all present to briefly introduce themselves. In a brief presentation, he explained how the FSAI ensures proper standards of corporate governance and how it plans to conform to the Code of Practice the Governance of State Bodies.

Following his presentation, a discussion ensued about the procedures for appointments to the Board and the filling of vacancies. It was confirmed that these matters had been pursued by the Board with the office of the Minister for Health and with senior staff from his department.

Action: A copy of the revised corporate framework will be circulated to members when it is available.

There were several questions about board membership and its rules and MG addressed all of these.

2. Food Safety in the Context of a Food Exporting Nation -  Mr Ciaran Fitzgerald

AR introduced Mr Fitzgerald, a food economist whose presentation covered the following:

  • Employment and economic statistics of the agri-food industry;
  • Its importance to Ireland and where it stands in the world market;
  • Economic value prejudices;
  • Outlined the economic realities of the industry;
  • Statistics and predictions about the agri-food growth to 2020;
  • Growth drivers and routes to market;
  • Explained how multi-dimensional the sector is;
  • How agri-food production is a key resource in Ireland;
  • Agri-food and the Irish consumer/local market;
  • Retail dominance.

Action: EL will send a copy of the presentation to the members for information.

Mr Fitzgerald was thanked for a very positive presentation and several questions followed which Mr Fitzgerald addressed.   Much discussion took place around the food sector in Ireland, and many issues were considered such as:

  • The need to invest more money in food control
  • How to improve milk production in Ireland when milk quotas cease in 2015
  • The need to look at innovations on a more long-term basis
  • Concerns that  that food production is not considered modern and innovative
  • Recent occurrences in the dairy sector in New Zealand which could have implications for Ireland
  • The need to look at risks involved in food innovations and opportunities and for Ireland to maintain its reputation for food safety.

3. Discussion

Agreed: It was agreed by the Board and the FSCC members that it would be mutually beneficial for these two entities to have joint meetings regularly, at least once per year and more often if necessary.  It was also agreed that a meeting of the FSCC and representatives from the Scientific Committee would be useful and this will be arranged by the FSAI for later this year.  MG will recommend this to the Board

Agreed: The FSCC members pointed out that they would appreciate more feedback on their work and more information on the outcomes of their reports and activities. 

Members were advised that main concerns of the Board are strategic matters and corporate governance.  MG asked the FSCC members to be specific about its requirements. The FSAI Executive and the Board confirmed that they are very appreciative of the work and opinions of the FSCC.

As regards nutrition, the role of FSAI in this regard was explained and it was clarified that FSAI carries out the regulatory aspect of nutrition and provides scientific reports to support policy makers. At this point the role of the Scientific Committee was also explained. 

The meeting concluded in the expectation of future joint meetings to be arranged.

Last reviewed: 1/5/2014

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