Selling plant products in New Zealand

If you grow, process or sell plant products as food in New Zealand, you must comply with the Food Act 1981, including Standards for Maximum Residue Limit (MRLs).

Meeting Food Act requirements

If you sell plant products for human consumption, whether grown in New Zealand or imported, you must meet the requirements of the Food Act 2014.

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.

Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs)

All plant products sold as food in New Zealand (whether grown in New Zealand or imported) must comply with New Zealand’s MRLs for pesticides. These are established under the Food Act 1981 to safeguard consumer health and to promote Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) in the use of insecticides, fungicides, herbicides and other agricultural compounds.

You can find out the New Zealand requirements for residue limits for pesticides in plant products such as fruit, vegetables or cereals on the MRLs for plant products page in the menu on the left.

Using research and outbreak reports for plant products

MPI, together with other agencies, undertakes research and issues reports which help to improve the safety of plant products. The reports sometimes offer guidance that can help your business to use best food safety practices. MPI uses the reports to inform the development of new food safety standards.

The reports cover a wide range of topics that are of concern to the industry, including outbreaks of foodborne illness and the presence of contaminants in produce.

Produce food safety in New Zealand