It is a partnership between government, industry organisations and research institutions.
The centre was established in response to recommendations from the government inquiry into the whey protein concentrate contamination incident.
Research partners are Massey University, AgResearch, Cawthron Institute, ESR, Plant and Food Research, the University of Auckland and the University of Otago.
Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce and Food Safety Minister Jo Goodhew launched the centre at the Manawatū campus of Massey University.
Industry funders the Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand, the Meat Industry Association and Zespri have committed $2.05m.
Malcolm Bailey, Dairy Companies Association chairman, said: “Our investment is aimed at future-proofing New Zealand’s reputation for safe food through greater co-ordination, and a stronger linkage to the world’s leading science and research.”
Tim Ritchie, Meat Industry Association chief executive, said New Zealand’s reputation for strong food safety is critically important to the success of the red meat sector.
“The meat industry already invests in science and research to support and protect this reputation and this collaboration is another example of the industry’s absolute commitment to food safety.”
The government, through MBIE and the Ministry for Primary Industries, is matching this, bringing total funding to $4.1m per annum for the next five years.
David Smol, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment chief executive, said the partnership will bring the best minds and institutions together.
“New Zealand’s food exports are dependent on an internationally credible food safety system, which must be underpinned by the best available science. The work to be done at the centre will be a huge help in meeting our export growth targets."