BDFA oversees Brunei food safety, quality

James Kon

With the consent of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, a statutory body called the Brunei Darussalam Food Authority (BDFA) has been established as a regulatory and competent authority for food safety and quality in Brunei Darussalam, commencing on January 1, 2021. The Ministry of Health (MoH) announced in a statement yesterday, “The vision of the BDFA is to ensure that the food products in Brunei Darussalam are safe, clean and of good quality, ultimately ensuring and protecting consumer safety and health. Thus, the mission of the BDFA is to establish a robust food regulatory and safety system in Brunei to support the vision.”

“The objectives of the establishment of BDFA are to ensure the maximisation of food safety and quality in Brunei Darussalam; to serve as a single point of contact in food related matters by consolidating the existing food related processes; and aims to catalyse the development of the local food industry to achieve international competitiveness.”

The MoH also said that the role and function of the BDFA is to increase public awareness on food safety; standards and food labelling; and to implement and facilitate training and education for food operators and members of the public involved in the handling or the supply of food, and minimise the risk of food contamination.

The authority also plays a role in regulating food importation and exportation, production, processing, and transportation including transits; as well as to ensure that the food supply chain from manufacturing, retail and distribution to the consumers are safe and in an orderly manner.

In terms of market access, the BDFA will regulate, facilitate and ensure all exporting food business operators comply and meet relevant food safety legislation and standards as required by the national food control system of the importing countries, to facilitate food-related businesses in international trade.

Some functions and responsibilities of divisions and units under the purview of the MoH and the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism (MPRT) will be consolidated into BDFA to achieve the objective of BDFA, to serve as a single point of contact in food related matters.

Stakeholder engagement with government agencies, stakeholders and food business operators will be carried out in phases, to introduce the roles and functions of the authority, in addition to increasing awareness on the food-related orders and regulations under the authority.