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What Is The Dutch Food And Consumer Product Safety Authority?

1985 words - 8 pages

Introduction
The Nederlandse Voedsel- en Warenautoriteiten (NVWA) translated as the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority is a Dutch public organization. This organization aims to safeguard “the health of animals and plants, animal wellbeing, the security of food and consumer products and, enforce the [Dutch] nature law.” Consequently, every inhabitant of the Netherlands is directly dependent on them. Furthermore, many individuals worldwide are also, either consciously or unconsciously, reliant on the NVWA due to the large amounts of goods the Netherlands exports. Before 2009, the tasks of the NVWA were fulfilled by three separate organizations: the General Inspection Body ...view middle of the document...

This is the case for many government organizations as the government is also going through a period of change due to the increasing demands of citizens on the one hand and the budget cuts on the other hand. The specific mission for the NVWA has been adapted to also realize the above mentioned mission which is for all government organizations. The mission is: companies and consumers must willingly take responsibility for a decent quality of the goods or services they produce. In this hypothetical situation the NVWA plays an active role as supervisor in this process and attempts to stimulate both companies and consumers to take responsibility, simply said ensuring abidance to the law. The strategy to achieve this mission is fulfilling the following tasks: enforcement, risk analysis, risk communication, policy advice and execution . Furthermore, with regards to the market the approach is “strict if necessary, lenient if possible.” For example, if there are severe violations of a company the NVWA will take rigid action including fining companies in violation of the standards, and at a last resort, even forcing companies to shut down. The NVWA’s vision is to shift from ‘control’ to ‘in control’. Contemporarily the NVWA holds numerous investigations every day to determine whether companies comply with the law. In the future this will shift towards an approach where the NVWA is in control and merely has a passive supervisory role. The strategy to allow for this change is to become more risk oriented, knowledge based and cooperative focused and influential. Both the vision and the mission have to be realized with as little means as possible, but should ultimately secure the adherence to the law by companies. The mission and vision are both very ambitious, they even state these themselves. Recently, the NVWA encountered problems with the “product integrity” of the Dutch meat industry. This is one example that illustrates that the NVWA’s mission and vision still need work. As a reaction one of the more well-known news sites posted an article heading “The NVWA has to investigate and enforce, not philosophize”. This statement was made by the spokesman of the Central Organization for the Meat Industry (Centrale Organizatie voor de Vlees Sector, COV). This is interesting as it opposes both the mission and vision of the NVWA. Are the new mission and vision really the best way to ensure abidance to the law?
Public vs. Private
There are various ways to approach the public –private dichotomy, and determine whether an organization is either public, private or hybrid. Wamsley and Zald argue that on the basis of two characteristics, ownership and funds it can be determined whether an organization is public or private. According to their theory the NVWA is indeed a public organization because it primarily receives funding and is owned by the government. There are also some separate elements that categorize an organization as public. One example to...

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