MPI Register for Safe Practice

Under National Alert Level 4 and in response to COVID-19, the primary industries are included on the list of essential services.

Registration of primary industry essential services

MPI needs assurances from primary industry essential businesses that their processes protect workers and the public by limiting interactions and reducing the potential spread of COVID-19. This includes businesses that supply essential support to a primary industries essential service. Without these assurances, businesses will not be able to operate.

The online registration form has now closed. However, if you are an essential service to the primary industries, or a supplier to an essential service you can email us at

If you are not an essential service or support service, or if we have advised you not to operate, you should already be closed.

Primary industries, that needed to register with MPI, include (subject to the criteria below):

  • packaging, production and processing of food and beverage products, whether for domestic consumption or export
  • the relevant support services, such as food safety and verification, inspection or associated laboratory services, food safety and biosecurity functions
  • veterinary services
  • any business whose closure would jeopardise the maintenance of animal health or welfare standards (including the short-term survival of a species).

If your business is “beyond the factory gate” i.e. involved in retail (supermarkets, independent groceries, fruit/veg stands, cafes, etc.), or provides a food service (e.g. meals cooked on-site in an aged care facility), then you need to contact the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) at or call 0800 22 66 57 (9am to 5pm). This includes businesses who operate in fast moving consumer goods, such as packaged foods and beverages.

Criteria considered for registration

  • Do you have 5 or fewer people (including the owner) working at each business site?
  • Can you achieve social distancing measures between staff in your workplace, including travelling to and from work?
    • If you answer YES to both of those questions, then you do not need to be registered.
    • If you answered NO to either of these questions, you should be registered.

Essential support services and inputs

What are essential businesses?

Checking on safe practice

After reviewing registrations, MPI may need to follow up with emails, phone calls, or in some cases site visits.

If our MPI officials need to visit you, they will carry MPI identification (with some being Warranted Officers) and will be conducting their duties safely following strict guidelines around social distancing and proper hygiene.

MPI will generally advise of visits on the day. If you have any specific personal protective equipment (PPE) measures or site-specific issues, please flag these on the call prior to the official’s arrival. Not all visits will be notified.

If you are visited, officials will ask some questions about your safe practice registration and may wish to view how you are putting in place the measures you included in your registration. Where issues are identified, these will be talked through with actions identified and noted. This could also involve a follow-up visit.

For clarity, these visits are only about checking safe practice, related to COVID-19 under the Level 4 Alert, and do not include verification that you are meeting the food safety requirements required under your normal risk-based measure (Risk Management Programme, Food Control Plan or National Programme) – even if the check happens to be carried out by your verifier.

If you are not an essential service or support service, or if we have advised you not to operate, you should already be closed.

Production chains should work to achieve separation between staff and adopt mitigation measures, such as protective gear and equipment, where possible.

Primary sector businesses may contact MPI at 0800 00 83 33 or for further details on the registration and safe practice check process.

Last reviewed: