Overview – Plant products

If you grow, process, sell, import or export plant products as food, you need to meet residue limits, food safety and quality requirements.

Plant products include fruit, vegetables, herbs, spices, nuts, cereal grains, seeds, fungi, grasses and components extracted or gathered from plant products.

Meeting requirements

Food safety

The food safety requirements, which apply to plant products for sale in New Zealand are laid out in the Food Act.

Operating under the Food Act

Rules for food businesses are changing – we're moving from the Food Act 1981 to the Food Act 2014. From 1 March 2016, all new businesses must operate under the Food Act.

Existing businesses (registered under the Food Act 1981 or Food Hygiene Regulations 1974 before 29 February 2016) will shift to the new Act between 2016 and 2019. Check the timetable to find out when your type of business has to transition.


All plant products sold for human consumption in New Zealand, whether produced in New Zealand or imported, must also comply with Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) for agricultural compounds.


Although New Zealand has no food safety regulations for exporting plant products, some destination countries may require assurances around food safety, pesticide residues or quality parameters (grade).

Many countries also have biosecurity requirements you need to meet. Information about these can be found on the MPI Biosecurity website.

What you will find here

The Plant products section of the site is split into various sub-sections. Use the menu on the left to find your way around.

The information is divided so that you can find requirements for:

Selling plant products in New Zealand – includes information about the New Zealand MRL standards and research related to plant products, which could help your business.

Exporting plant products – includes information about standards and guidelines for operating under a voluntary compliance programme for residues or quality grade.

Pesticide MRLs for plant products – find out the New Zealand, Australian and other trading partner requirements for MRLs using databases maintained by MPI and destination countries.

Further sub-sections provide more generic information relevant to Plant products:

  • Registers & lists – Look up MRLs, find recognised third party agencies and pesticide residue laboratories.
  • Documents – Find a full list of documents relating to Plant products.
  • What's new – Check this page rregularly for important updates relevant to Plant products.

Related information

Requirements specific to Plant products are contained in this section, but make sure you also refer to produce safety information and general food safety requirements that you may need to comply with.

Produce safety in New Zealand
General requirements & programmes

Keeping up to date

It’s important to keep up to date with any new or revised plant product information, including requirements, consultations, strategies and other content changes. There are different ways to keep up to date – choose the methods that work best for you:

  • What’s new – Click on What’s new in the left-hand menu to read the most recent updates to Plant products.
  • Get emails – Sign up to receive the latest MPI news by email. Click on the Get emails link at the bottom of any page to sign-up for email notifications.
  • Subscribe to feeds – Sign up to receive news feeds. Click on the Subscribe to feeds link at the bottom of any page to add to your list of news feeds.


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