Introduction of the Food Act 2014 in Kāpiti
The Kāpiti Coast District Council is talking to local market managers and regular stall holders about changes to the way food sellers need to operate in New Zealand by March 2018. This is the latest phase in a process to inform all Kāpiti food sellers about implementing changes required under the new Food Act 2014.
The Food Act now requires food sellers to be registered with local councils. Councils are required to administer and legally enforce the new Act on behalf of the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI). Food stalls operating at markets are included and will need to pay a fee for registration and verification of a food control plan.
Depending on the type of food being sold, fees range from $150 to $300 for registration, and $450 to $600 for verification. These charges are set by local councils. Kāpiti Coast District Council has set its fees based on visiting food sellers’ premises and verifying compliance. Some food types require verification by a third party.
Council representatives visited local markets recently to hand out information and explain the new requirements. They have invited stallholders to information sessions to help them with the transition. These sessions will be held in the Council Chambers on Monday 13 November – 8.30am to 10.00am and 5.30pm to 7pm.
Regulatory Services Acting Group Manager Natasha Tod says Council staff have been out and about talking to stall holders to help them understand if or when they need to register or transition under the new Food Act.
“MPI also offers detailed advice online about how the Act might apply to anyone selling food – whether a café, school or for a one-off event.
“There are a few food sellers that will be exempt – for example, fundraisers and people selling manufacturer packaged food or fruit or vegetables they have grown,” Ms Tod says.
“We want to make sure everyone is aware of their responsibilities and legal obligations under the Act before next March by providing information on behalf of MPI.
“Our local markets are part of what makes our communities so vibrant and we want to help stallholders prepare and transition to the new environment as smoothly as possible.
“We understand some people are concerned about what all this involves for them and the cost of becoming registered. Our information programme is an important part of offering advice on the requirements.
“We encourage people to get the correct information by checking both the MPI and Council websites and attending the information sessions if they can,” Ms Tod says.
People with particular concerns about the requirements can also contact MPI directly. The email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
The Council information sessions will provide more detailed information about registration and verification requirements for different types of food sellers, food safety plans and the timelines for the changes. Council staff will be able to provide further advice on what may be required. To book into an information session stallholders should email email@example.com or call the Food team on 0800 486 486.
More information is also available through MPI https://www.mpi.govt.nz/food-safety/food-act-2014/where-do-i-fit/ and on the Council website.