Article posted 12/2/19
All growers and packhouses are required to register for the Food Act under National Programme Level 1 (growing and packing of minimally processed fruit and vegetables). The Food Act verification is then required to occur within 12 months of when you register.
This applies to all tomato growers and packhouses except if you only sell all of your own product direct to consumers e.g. growers who sell all product through “gate sales” or personally sell product to consumers at a market.
RECOMMENDED OPTION: NZGAP manages the registration and verification for you.
NZGAP is accepted by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) as a Food Act Template Food Control Plan for National Programme 1 (NP1) businesses.
If you already have NZGAP certification, you will be covered under the Food Act once you give NZGAP permission to register your business. Your next NZGAP audit will double as your Food Act Audit. If you have not approved NZGAP to register you, please contact NZGAP asap.
There are four additional requirements to the existing NZGAP system to comply with the Food Act (related to recalls and record keeping). NZGAP will provide details of how to add these to your system before your next audit.
If you are not already certified to NZGAP, TomatoesNZ recommends that you join.
For more information, please contact NZGAP on +64 4 472 3795 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
This option is likely to be the lowest-cost option for growers as NZGAP is not charging for the initial registration process, it will be incorporated in a small rise in NZGAP fees to cover the costs of the Food Act processing. Further, your NZGAP audit will double as a Food Act verification, so avoiding the cost of having an extra separate audit for Food Act.
All crops sold commercially MUST be covered under the Food Act. Any uncertified crops or crop lines, will be required to be added to your NZGAP scope of certification for the whole business to be signed off to Food Act
OTHER OPTIONS for registration include:
Register directly with your local council under National Programme 1 (NP1),
Register a multi-site business (crossing council boundaries) with MPI.
With these options, you will need to arrange for a Food Act verifier to audit your business against the requirements of the Food Act.
For further Food Act information visit MPI website: https://www.mpi.govt.nz/food-safety/food-act-2014/