HortNZ: The Food Act 2014 and its regulations apply to a range of horticultural growing and post harvest food activities. The only current exceptions are growers who are not selling their produce, and those that sell all of their own product direct to consumers eg. growers who sell all of their product through “gate sales” or personally take their product to a farmers’ market where they sell to consumers.
There is recognition that existing Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) programmes provide an excellent avenue for growers to meet Food Act requirements and discussions are well underway with MPI on how to ensure growers will be able to demonstrate their compliance as part of their standard GAP programme. While the details of exactly how GAP systems can be recognised for the Food Act are still being finalised, it is important that growers understand that options are being developed and details will be available in the near future.
Growers who are not currently covered by a recognised GAP programme will need to ensure their growing practices are safe and they will need to arrange for their own registration and verification. As previously stated, HortNZ recommends growers become certified under a GAP scheme to meet market and Food Act requirements.
What do growers need to do?
Growers are required to apply for registration under the Food Act 2014 by 30 November 2018 in order to be registered for the Food Act by the final deadline of 28 February 2019.
Read the full post in the HortNZ newsletter