Jan 10 2019

Monthly Update December

FOOD ACT REGISTRATION DEADLINE: 28TH FEBRUARY 2019

All growers and packhouses are required to register for the Food Act under National Programme Level 1 (growing and packing of minimally processed fruit and vegetables). The Food Act verification is then required to occur within 12 months of when you register.

This applies to all tomato growers and packhouses except if you only sell all of your own product direct to consumers e.g. growers who sell all product through “gate sales” or personally sell product to consumers at a market. 

RECOMMENDED OPTION: NZGAP manages the registration and verification for you.

NZGAP is accepted by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) as a Food Act Template Food Control Plan for National Programme 1 (NP1) businesses.

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 approved NZGAP to register you, please contact NZGAP asap.

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 +64 4 472 3795 or email nzgap@hortnz.co.nz

This option is likely to be the lowest-cost option for growers as NZGAP is not charging for the initial registration process, it will be incorporated in a small rise in NZGAP fees to cover the costs of the Food Act processing. Further, your NZGAP audit will double as a Food Act verification, so avoiding the cost of having an extra separate audit for Food Act.

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 Food Act

OTHER OPTIONS for registration include:

  1. Register directly with your local council under National Programme 1 (NP1),
  2. Register a multi-site business (crossing council boundaries) with MPI.

With these options, you will need to arrange for a Food Act verifier to audit your business against the requirements of the Food Act.

For further Food Act information visit MPI website: https://www.mpi.govt.nz/food-safety/food-act-2014/

Biosecurity

Tomatoes New Zealand have been working with the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) on a Sector Readiness Operational Agreement (OA) to be signed 21 December 2018. 

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 (e.g. diagnostic and organism management tools) to use in a response, and this work will be cost-shared with MPI.

Climate change and emissions strategy working group to be developed

Are you interested in participating in a working group on climate change and emissions in the covered crops sector?

TomatoesNZ 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 TomatoesNZ Business Manager Karen Orr Karen.Orr@hortnz.co.nz or 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 TomatoesNZ and VegetablesNZ 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 1 day, and a max of two applications per year is allowed.

We would like to thank Bayer for their considerable efforts in getting this registered for growers to use.