Food Act 2014

NZGAP certification enables growers to achieve both market access and regulatory compliance in one food safety system



The purposes of the Food Act 2014 include achieving the safety and suitability of food for sale, maintaining confidence in New Zealand’s food safety regime and providing for risk-based measures that minimise and manage risks to public health. The Food Act 2014 came into force on 1 March 2016. It applies to all new food businesses from that date but existing food businesses require to be registered by 28th February 2019.

Growingpacking, transporting and wholesale of horticulture products are in the low risk category of National Programme Level 1 (NP1).


Latest News about NZGAP and the Food Act


MPI Approval of NZGAP

NZGAP has been approved by MPI as meeting requirements of the Act as a section 40 Food Control Plan Template.

MPI recognise that the NZGAP system identifies:

  • Hazards that are reasonably likely to occur
  • Appropriate controls for those hazards
  • Steps for monitoring of appropriate limits
  • What to do when situations arise that require corrective actions


Where do I fit?

If you grow, pack, transport or wholesale horticulture produce then NZGAP certification can cover your Food Act requirements. Minimal processing includes rinsing and trimming, however if you carry out processes such as slicing, dicing or juicing then NZGAP certification will not cover your entire business for the Food Act.

If unsure, use the "Where Do I Fit" tool on the MPI website to find out what rules you need to follow under the Food Act 2014. 

What you need to do:

 Step 1: Register for NZGAP certification

  1. Register for NZGAP Certification
  2. Give NZGAP permission to register your business with MPI

If you do not wish NZGAP to register your business, you can also register under the Food Act with your Territorial Authority (or directly with MPI for multi-sites) and pay the applicable fees.


Step 2: Implement / Update your Food Safety System

If you are already NZGAP certified, there are 4 additional requirements to your existing NZGAP system to allow you to comply with the Food Act (e.g. recalls, record keeping). If you are new to NZGAP, you will need to implement the NZGAP system (manual and checklist) along withe the following additional requirements:

  1. In circumstances where product is contaminated by pests, the grower is to take the necessary corrective action to:
    a. Monitor and manage the risk to food safety,
    b. Segregate and destroy the contaminated product,
    c. Use a pest control plan to monitor the activity of animals.

  2. Notify MPI as soon as possible if a decision is made to recall food, and notify verifier/verification agency in the event of a breach of the food control plan that could result in food not being safe or suitable,

  3. Harmonize the requirements for keeping records with the MPI requirement of four years,

  4. All production sites must be verified during your next NZGAP audit – please register all associated site requiring a review for certification and Food Act.

 Step 3: Get Audited (Verified)

Once registered, your next NZGAP audit will double as a Food Act verification. 

PRE-FEB 2019: If registered for the Food Act pre-February 2019, your audit will occur within 1 year.
POST-FEB 2019: If you miss the deadline, or a new business post-February 2019, your audit shall occur within 6 weeks of Food Act registration.


Step 4: Reporting of audit outcomes

Key audit outcomes are reported to NZGAP and MPI by your auditor (e.g. whether your business is conforming or not).