Food & Nutrition Security – The Biosecurity, Health, Trade Nexus

13-14 December 2021, Canberra


Nicola Hinder PSM

First Assistant Secretary, Exports and Veterinary Services, Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE)

Ms Hinder’s responsibilities include technical market access negotiations underpinning the export of a wide variety of agricultural goods from Australia.  In addition, Ms Hinder’s role includes the management of operational staff based throughout Australia, including in remote and regional communities, providing export certification and assurance functions. Ms Hinder is also the Australian Delegation Head for the CODEX Alimentarius Commission – the international food safety standards setting agency established by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Health Organizaton.

Ms Hinder has undertaken a broad range of roles across government, including (for DAWE) biosecurity, corporate, emergency management and international trade, including serving the Australian Government on  postings to the European Union and India.  In 2019, Ms Hinder received a Public Service Medal for services to Biosecurity and Trade.

Unpacking the nexus in a changing world – the relationship between biosecurity, trade, health and environment


International trade in agricultural and food commodities is essential to global food and nutrition security. Trade is enhanced by systems- and science-based approaches to regulation that address risks to animal and plant biosecurity, zoonotic disease, food safety and nutrition. The World Trade Organisation’s Sanitary and Phytosanitary Agreement (SPS Agreement) recognises the ‘three sisters’ – the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex), the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) – as the international standard setting bodies squarely at the centre of this nexus between biosecurity, health and trade. The standards set by these bodies are integral to maintaining a transparent, rules-based, trading environment and reducing risk for those operating in the increasingly connected global value chain. I will explore how the work of the three sisters intersect to influence food import and export systems, continuing to adapt in a changing world, and I will discuss Australia’s crucial role in promoting science-based standards and guidance that facilitates trade in safe food, with a focus on the important role Australia plays in contributing to the work of Codex.