New meat, fish and animal products regime starts

20 October 2000

The second stage of the Animal Products Act 1999 relating to risk management programmes is set to start on 20 November 2000.

Risk management programmes are aimed at providing safe, wholesome and truthfully labelled food.

This is great news for the consumer, says Tony Zohrab, MAF's Director of the Animal Products Group.

"A risk management approach applied across primary processing is the driving force for the need for change. Under the new Act, HACCP based risk management programmes are to be established and implemented by individual animal product businesses. These programmes will be tailored to the businesses scope and needs," he said.

Removing the prescriptive nature of the law will give industry huge opportunities to be innovative, flexible and produce a broader range of consumer goods. It will also align our processors internationally with what is being done overseas.

MAF has been working with industry over the past 12 months to put in place many of the tools needed for industry to develop risk management programmes.

"Many businesses already have a lot of the parts required for risk management programmes. This includes systems such as identification and control of risks, sanitation, personnel hygiene and record keeping. I expect that the progressive businesses, with existing approved systems, will move quickly to have programmes in place," Dr Zohrab said.

Existing animal product businesses have until October 2002 to have risk management programmes in place. New businesses planning to start after 20 November 2000 need to have a risk management programme in place before they can start trading.

In the lead up to 20 November 2000, MAF will continue to provide information to relevant industries. Current licensees can expect some information directly. All the information can be accessed via the MAF website at: www.maf.govt.nz/animalproducts/

For further information please contact:

Tony Zohrab, Director Animal Products, Phone: 021-673-423

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