Introduction to risk management programmes

If you process or manufacture animal products, you may need a Risk Management Programme (RMP).

What an RMP is

An RMP is a written programme designed to manage the hazards, wholesomeness and labelling of animal material and products. Hazards may be biological, chemical or physical.

Your RMP describes how you will process your products to meet the requirements of the Animal Products Act 1999. This is to ensure the products you sell are 'fit for purpose' – safe, suitable and truthfully labelled.

Who needs an RMP

In general, all primary processors of animal material and products for human or animal consumption are required to operate under a registered and independently verified RMP. Certain dairy processors and secondary processors (for example, dual operator butchers) also need an RMP.

Examples of primary processors needing an RMP include:

  • mammal, bird (including ostrich and emu) and seafood primary processors
  • farm dairy operators
  • dairy processors, including, stores, and transporters (unless covered by the Food Act 2014)
  • most avian egg primary processors
  • deer velvet processors.

Examples of secondary processors needing an RMP include:

  • renderers and blood-drying operations for mammals and birds
  • dual operator butchers (butchers dealing in both homekill and regulated meat)
  • all secondary processors of animal products intended for human or animal consumption who export to countries requiring official assurances.

For the full lists of primary and secondary processors needing an RMP, see the 'Businesses requiring RMPs' section of the RMP manual:

Who doesn't need an RMP

Examples of people who are exempt from having an RMP include:

  • primary producers of animal products (for example, sheep and beef farmers)
  • processors of dairy products consumed on premises
  • certain dairy products that are multi-ingredient foods
  • egg producers who have 100 birds or less and sell all eggs direct to the consumer
  • primary processors of animal material for purposes other than human or animal consumption (for example, skinning and shearing).

For a full list of processors not needing an RMP, see the 'Businesses not requiring RMPs' section of the RMP manual:

In addition, the Animal Products (Exemptions and Inclusions) Order 2000 exempts some operators from having an RMP.

Your Risk Management Programme

Your RMP sets out how you ('the operator') will identify and control, manage, eliminate or minimise food safety hazards and other risk factors in relation to your processing. All animal products traded and used must be 'fit for intended purpose' and meet the appropriate New Zealand animal product legislation.

Your registered RMP is a legally binding document that must be developed and implemented in accordance with the Animal Products Act 1999 and other relevant New Zealand legislation.

Developing your RMP

You can develop your RMP from scratch to meet the needs of your specific operation, or base it on a template, a Code of Practice (COP), or a model. Find out more:

Registering your RMP

You must register your RMP with MPI. If MPI approves your application, you will be added to the public list of registered RMPs. Find out about the process for getting your RMP registered:

Getting your RMP verified

After registering your RMP, you must get it checked regularly by an MPI-recognised verifier to ensure you are complying with the law. Your contracted recognised agency will visit and verify your records regularly to confirm that your RMP continues to deliver product that is fit for purpose. Frequency of verification depends on product type. Find out more about RMP verification:

Operating your RMP

It is up to you to ensure processes are carried out in accordance with your registered RMP, all the risk management activities are working effectively, and records are kept. To find out how to run, amend and cancel your RMP, conduct a product recall, and when MPI can suspend or revoke your RMP, refer to:

Related information

Refer to your specific food sector and also other general food safety requirements you may need to comply with.

Keeping up to date

It's important to keep up to date with any new or revised information about RMPs, including requirements, consultations, strategies and other content changes. Subscribe to MPI to receive the latest MPI news by email:

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