Activity Against Operating Plan

Activity Against Operating Plan

Internal report

Activity against operating plan

Jan – Mar 2013

Contact details for this report:

Dr Tom Lewis


Allergen Bureau

Phone: 1800 263 829


April 2013

Toll Free 1800 263 829 (Australia) Toll Free 0800 263 829 (New Zealand)

Email website

1) Management

Provide secretariat services

  • The Management Committee held one (1) face-to-face meeting during this quarter on 13 March 2013 in Sydney, NSW. This meeting was preceded by a Member Company Meeting.
  • Five (5) routine – generally fortnightly - Management Committee teleconferences were coordinated through the Secretariat
  • Other out-of-session secretariat services were provided, including ad hoc teleconferences with some or all of the Management Committee. Out of session discussion, generally by e-mail, constitutes a large proportion of Allergen Bureau Management Committee activity
  • Relevant Allergen Bureau projects and sub-contracts were managed as required

Manage the election of the Allergen Bureau Management Committee

  • Allergen Bureau Member Companies have agreed to postpone election of Management Committee until the proposal to incorporate the Allergen Bureau is finalised
  • Progress on incorporation was communicated to Member Companies at the 13 March 2013 Member Meeting held in Sydney and via teleconference
  • David Henning participation on the Management Committee ceased, following a restructure at Campbell-Arnott's
  • Julie Newlands, Unilever, was appointed to the Management Committee and thence to the inaugural Allergen Bureau Board

Provide a dedicated telephone, email answering and referral service

  • During the reporting period, the Allergen Bureau received 21 enquiries (9 to toll free phone, 12 to email address) – not including VITAL enquiries
  • The VITAL coordinator reported 26 enquiries for this reporting period, up from 21 in the previous quarter
  • Of the 19 enquiries, 10 required forwarding to Allergen Bureau technical personnel while the remaining enquiries were able to be responded to directly by the Secretariat
  • The average time for the Secretariat to initially respond to enquiries was 1.8 days (includes non-working days), increased from 0.3 days in the previous quarter, reflecting a reduced capacity by the Secretariat during the summer holiday period. Notwithstanding this, 50% were still responded to on the same day as the enquiry, compared to 66% in the previous quarter.
  • The average time for technical personnel to respond to enquiries was 2.3 days (includes non-working days). While no enquires were responded to on the same day (the technical personnel had personal commitments during this time), 70% were responded to within one day.

Manage third party service providers

  • Current third-party providers include: Dr Simon Brooke-Taylor (Technical support); Georgina Christensen (VITAL Coordinator); and Dr Lyn Davies (Web updates and eNews)
  • Loves Data (website and visual identity)

Manage all Allergen Bureau funds and financial transactions in accordance with the Management Committee Terms of Reference.

  • Funds managed through hosting agreement with RDS Partners and are being managed according to budget

Provide quarterly activity reports to Allergen Bureau Members

  • Oct – Dec 2012 quarterly report posted to website February 2013

Prepare annual Allergen Bureau Budgets against Operating Plans for endorsement by the Management Committee

  • Budget items in 2012-13 OP&B discussed during regular fortnightly telecons

2) Membership

Maintain an Allergen Bureau Membership register

  • Contact details maintained on Membership register
  • Membership register updated every 6 months
  • One new Full Membership, r-Biopharm, from last reporting period
  • Current Full members (25)

  • No changes in Associate Membership from last reporting period
  • Current Associate Members (15)
    # Advancing Food Safety
    # All Systems Go

# Australasian Medical & Scientific Limited

# Bellamy’s Organic

# Domray

# F J Fleming Food Consulting Pty Ltd

# Freedom Foods

# Hamilton Grant

# National Starch Food Innovation

# Orange & Green

# Sci Qual International

# Sydney Fish Market
# Vatmi Industries
# Xyris Software

Maintain and grow Allergen Bureau Membership

  • Membership & Funding Strategy in progress
  • Potential new membership options & benefits, including the introduction of an Individual Membership category, was communicated to Member Companies at the 13 March 2013 Member Meeting held in Sydney and via teleconference

3) Science and Information

Provide Members with timely and accurate information relevant to the management of allergens in the food manufacturing industry

  • Period Jan 13 – Mar 13. Of the 10 food recalls, there were two (2) allergen related food recalls during the period (i.e. 20% of recalls), both due to the presence of undeclared allergens.
  • Food recalls during quarter10
  • Allergen related recalls2
  • Recalls due to undeclared allergens2

Offending allergens: Milk (1); Sulphur dioxide (1)

Sulphur dioxide

Three varieties of dried fruit/ fruit & nut mix were recalled due to the presence of undeclared sulphur dioxide. The brand is distributed through independent grocers in the ACT, NSW and VIC


One variety of ready to eat popcorn (chicken variety) was recalled due to the presence of undeclared milk solids. The product is sold in school canteens and a small number of vending machines in NSW, QLD, SA, WA and VIC.

Facilitate Industry Training in Allergen management

  • One (1) new international VITAL Training Provider was endorsed.
  • ifp (Institut für Produktqualität GmbH) operating in Germany
  • VITAL Coordinator had initial telecons with two (2) Training Providers, the Agrichain Centre and ifp, to go through the training materials
  • Limited discussions with Training Providers on an Allergen Bureau VITAL Training Forum group on LinkedIn. There are currently 11 members of this group
  • Meeting in Sydney and by telecon in March 2013with VITAL Trainers to review VITAL training materials. Good feedback from Training Providers. Material to be updated next quarter.

Manage and further develop Voluntary Incidental Trace Allergen Labelling (VITAL)

  • VITAL worked example launched on website

4) Communication

Facilitate, manage and/or participate in relevant seminars, conference and workshops

  • Allergen Bureau Industry Seminars scheduled for April 2013 in Melbourne, Sydney & Auckland. Managed program planning, promotion and registrations.
  • Georgina Christensen, VITAL Coordinator, presented on ‘VITAL 2.0” at the 12th Annual Food Safety Summit, Auckland, NZ – March 2013

Participate in meetings to facilitate global harmonisation of allergen management systems

  • No relevant presentations were made
  • Event list in continual development
  • Management Committee to determine representation based on: relevance; exposure of Allergen Bureau; and budget

Facilitate open communication with relevant regulatory, industry and consumer stakeholder groups

  • Attended AFGC Allergen Forum meeting
  • Formal communication strategy not yet developed
  • Ad hoc communication with relevant regulatory, industry and consumer stakeholder groups (e.g. AFGC; Coeliac Society; Anaphylaxis Australia; Allergy NZ; FSANZ) occurring and effective

Maintain communications with relevant stakeholders regarding Allergen Bureau achievements

  • eBrief summarising achievements and activities for period Oct – Dec 2013 sent to member mailing list Feb 2013

Position the Allergen Bureau website as the prime focus of Allergen Bureau communications to external stakeholders

  • Continuous back end monitoring and maintenance to website
  • Website updated with general updates as requested
  • Update templates for eBrief and eAlerts including extra coding to create sponsor column
  • Clean up and update email lists
  • Google Analytics statistics gathering and explanation of GA terms
  • Check Allergen Bureau website for virus and hacks (note: given all clear!)
  • Member subscription flyer Update
  • Update Services Directory Listings
  • VITAL - homepage banner updates
  • VITAL - add new provider
  • VITAL - update sell-sheet
  • VITAL Conference - setting up pages on website + redirects
  • VITAL Conference - update flyer
  • Updating member logo
  • Total of 9 Allergen Bureau eNews, eAlerts and eBriefs sent
  • Total VITAL registrations = 3,971 (previous 3,832)
  • Total general Allergen Bureau eNews registrations = 1,473* (previous 1,493)
  • Total on mailing list = 4,960 (previous 4,825)

* drop due to removal of spam emails and bounced email addresses

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