National Programmes: steps

Working with a National Programme is the way that lower-risk food businesses operate under the Food Act 2014. Find out if you can use a National Programme in your business, by using My Food Rules.

What is a National Programme?

Lower and medium-risk businesses follow a National Programme. This means they don't need to use written Food Control Plans, but must register the business, meet food safety standards, keep some records, and get checked.

If you're not sure if your business will operate under a National Programme, New Zealand Food Safety has a tool—My Food Rules—to help you work it out. Use My Food Rules to find out if your business needs to follow a National Programme. You will get a customised plan at the end of the tool which will outline the requirements and the next steps that you need to follow for your business under the Food Act.

All National Programmes require:

  • record keeping to show that you're selling safe food
  • registration of business details with your local council (or with MPI if you operate in more than one local area)
  • one or more visits from a verifier recognised by MPI
  • if you are involved in processing food, you must meet National Programme processing requirements.

Three levels of National Programmes

There are 3 levels of National Programmes, which are based on the food safety risk of the activities a business does. We've developed guidance documents for food businesses working under National Programmes which will help you manage your food safety risks.

If you are an early childhood educator or a Kohanga reo, please find more information here

Early childhood educators and kōhanga reo

National Programme 1

National Programme 1 will apply to businesses such as:

  • transporters or distributors of food products
  • horticultural food producers and horticultural packing operations (packhouses)
  • retailers of manufacturer-packaged ice cream and iced confectionery.

National Programme 2

National Programme 2 will apply to businesses such as:

  • bread bakeries
  • manufacturers of jams, chips, and confectionery
  • manufacturers of sauces and spreads.

National Programme 3

National Programme 3 will apply to businesses such as:

  • brewers and distillers
  • food additive manufacturers
  • fruit drink and flour manufacturers.

Changes to a registered business

If you make a significant change to your business after it is registered, you need to let your registration authority know. A significant change includes a change to:

  • the person who runs the business
  • the type of food you make or processes you use (your scope of operations)
  • your verification agency
  • the address details of the sites you operate from.

If you are registered with your local council, contact them about any changes you make. If you are registered with MPI, use the form – Changes to a food business subject to a National Programme.

Who to contact

If you have questions about national programmes, email foodactinfo@mpi.govt.nz

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