John the Cattle Farmer's Story: Starting a new food business

Read our case study about 'John' the Farmer, as he figures out what rules he needs to follow for his business.

Step 1: Find out the rules

John is a cattle farmer. Every year he uses three paddocks on his farm to plant organic wheat. He supplies the wheat he grows to a local mill where it's milled into flour. John is not a member of NZGAP, Global GAP or any other industry programme. 

John is not sure if the Food Act applies to him because he's a cattle farmer and only does a bit of growing on the side. He finds the “Where do I fit?” tool on the MPI website and gives it a go to see if it does.


"Where do I fit?" confirms, John needs a National Programme 1 (NP1).


Step 2: Create a plan to make safe food

After finishing “Where do I fit?”, John works through some extra questions. After which, he can download NP1 guidance with only the sections that apply to his business. The guidance is straightforward and common sense. It guides John to do things like keep his spray diary up to date and to use a safe water supply.


Step 3: Registering John's business

Because John’s farm sits within one council district, he needs to register with his local council. He gives the council a call and asks them to send him the paperwork he needs to fill in. They tell him to:

  • complete an application form
  • complete a scope of operations form
  • provide a letter from a verifier to confirm they will verify his National Programme.

John doesn’t know where to find a verifier so he looks on the MPI website. He finds a step-by-step guide with a link to a map on it.

The map lists verifiers that will verify NP1s in his area. He rings around the people on the list and finds someone who can do it for the best price and in the timeframe John needs.

Step 4: Get checked

John can start trading after he registers his National Programme with his local council. A verifier comes and checks his business within 6 weeks of getting registered.

The verifier wants to see that John understands the food safety risks for his business and knows how to manage them. The verifier wants to see evidence of this, like John’s spray diary is up to date.

The verifier won't need to come back once they are confident that John understands the risks and is managing them. The verifier will only return if something goes wrong in the future.


Return to "Thinking of starting a food business?"

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