Overview of risk management programmes

If you process or manufacture animal products, you may need a risk management programme (RMP). Find out if you need one, how to get started creating one, and how to use it.

What is an RMP?

RMPs are written documents, prepared by your business, that show how you meet your food safety requirements. They're made up of a set of procedures that describe:

  • how you have identified hazards associated with your processes
  • how you will control the hazards
  • the monitoring and record-keeping you will do
  • what you need to do if something goes wrong.

RMPs are only needed for animal products and material that are for human or animal consumption.

If your business needs an RMP, you need one before you start producing animal products for trade or sale. The RMP needs to be registered.

A registered RMP is legally binding under the Animal Products Act 1999.

Animal Products Act 1999 – NZ Legislation

RMP manual

Our guidance document has detailed information to help you.

Risk management programme manual for animal product processing [PDF, 2.2 MB] [PDF, 2.2 MB]

Who needs an RMP?

Most primary processors of animal material and products should have an RMP. Certain dairy processors need an RMP, and some do not. Some secondary processors also need an RMP.

Primary processors that need an RMP

Primary processors that need 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.

Secondary processors that need an RMP

Secondary processors that need an RMP include:

  • renderers and blood-drying operations for mammals and birds
  • dual-operator butchers (butchers that deal 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 that need an RMP, see Appendix C of the RMP manual.

Risk management programme manual for animal product processing [PDF, 2.2 MB]

Who doesn't need an RMP

Processors that do not need an RMP include:

  • primary producers of animal products (like sheep and beef farmers)
  • processors of dairy products that get consumed at the place they're made
  • producers of certain dairy products that are multi-ingredient foods
  • egg producers with 100 birds or fewer, who sell all their eggs directly to the consumer
  • primary processors of animal material that isn't for human or animal consumption (like skinning and shearing).

For a full list of processors that don't need an RMP, see Appendix D of the RMP manual.

Risk management programme manual for animal product processing [PDF, 2.2 MB]

How to develop your RMP

There are 3 main ways to create your RMP.

  1. Base your RMP on a Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI)-approved template or code of practice (when available).
  2. Create your own RMP by following the RMP manual.
  3. Convert your food control plan (FCP) to an RMP.

Find out how to develop a risk management programme

Your responsibilities as an RMP operator

As an RMP operator, you're responsible for ensuring your RMP works appropriately to identify and manage risk and hazards.

You need to:

  • create it
  • register it
  • put it into action after it's registered.
  • meet ongoing requirements after it's registered.

Once it's registered and you're using it, your responsibilities include:

  • organising regular external verification visits
  • doing operator verifications
  • amending (updating) your RMP when needed (and registering any "significant amendments" with MPI).

Find out more

Resources for developing a risk management programme

Update or change a risk management programme

Stop or suspend a risk management programme

Fees and charges for risk management programmes

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Who to contact

If you have questions about RMPs, email info@mpi.govt.nz

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