TOMATOES NZ INC.
The Food Act registration deadline is February 28, 2019.
All growers and packhouses are required to register to the Food Act under National Programme Level 1 (growing and packing of minimally processed fruit and vegetables) by the February 28 next year.
The Food Act verification/audit is then required to occur within 12 months of when you register. This applies to all tomato growers and packhouses except if you are selling all of your own product direct to consumers eg; growers who sell all product through gate sales or personally sell to consumers at a market.
The recommended option is that NZGAP, accepted by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) as a Food Act Template Food Control Plan for National Programme 1 (NP1) businesses, manages the registration and verification for you. If you already have NZGAP certification you will be covered under the Food Act once you give NZGAP permission to register your business. Your next NZGAP audit will double as your Food Act Audit. If you have not already approved NZGAP to register your business, please contact NZGAP as soon as possible.
There are four additional requirements to the existing NZGAP system to comply with the Food Act, related to recalls and record keeping. NZGAP will provide details of how to add these to your system before your next audit.
If you are not already certified to NZGAP, TomatoesNZ recommends that you join. For more information, please contact NZGAP on 04 472 3795 or email [email protected]
This option is likely to be the lowestcost option for growers as your NZGAP audit will double as a Food Act verification, avoiding the cost of having an extra separate audit for the Food Act. It also avoids the full cost of registration through local councils as NZGAP is not charging for the initial registration process. It will be incorporated in a small rise in NZGAP fees in time, to cover the costs of the Food Act processing.
All crops sold commercially must be covered under the Food Act. Any uncertified crops or crop lines will be required to be added to your NZGAP scope of certification for the whole business to be signed off to the Food Act.
Options for Food Act registrations are;
• Register through either NZGAP or your GLOBALGAP industry programme
• Register directly with your local council under NP1 or
• Register a multi-site business (crossing council boundaries) with MPI.
With the last two options you will need to arrange for a Food Act verifier to audit your business against the requirements of the Food Act. For further information visit the MPI website at https://www.mpi.govt.nz/ food-safety/food-act-2014/
We are working on finalising a Tomatoes NZ Sector Readiness Operational Agreement (OA) with MPI which we hope will be signed before the end of this year.
Tuta absoluta and Pepino mosiac Virus (PepMV) were identified at a recent workshop as the two priority pests to include in the fresh tomato OA, with provision to add others.
Readiness activities will include developing readiness and response plans and technical tools (eg; diagnostic and organism management tools) to use in a response, and this work will be cost-shared with MPI.
Climate change group
A climate change and emissions strategy working group is to be developed. Are you interested in participating?
Tomatoes NZ plans to develop a strategy on energy emissions. We are seeking growers who are interested in assisting us to develop ideas for addressing rising Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) costs and climate change pressures on our sector.
Please get in touch with Tomatoes NZ business manager, Karen Orr email, [email protected] or phone 04 494 9984 if you want to put your name forward.
STOP PRESS: Luna Privilege now registered for greenhouse tomatoes
After a two-year process initiated by Tomatoes NZ and Vegetables NZ and supported by Bayer, we are delighted that the botrytis preventative Luna Privilege (fluopyram) is now registered for use in greenhouse fruiting vegetables (except cucurbits).
The withholding period is one day, and a maximum of two applications a year are allowed. We would like to thank Bayer for their considerable efforts in getting this product registered for growers to use.
If you already have NZGAP certification you will be covered under the Food Act once you give NZGAP permission to register your business.