Working with a national programme is the way that lower-risk food businesses operate under the Food Act 2014. Find out how to set up and register your business under a national programme.
What is a national programme?
Lower and medium risk businesses follow a national programme. This means they don't need to use written food control plans, but must register the business, meet food safety standards, keep some records, and get checked.
Three levels of national programme
There are 3 levels of national programmes, which are based on the food safety risk of the activities a business does:
- Level 1 – lower risk
- Level 2 – medium risk
- Level 3 – higher risk.
We've developed guidance documents for food businesses working under national programmes. These will help you manage your food safety risks.
- National Programme 1 guidance [PDF, 932 KB]
- National Programme 2 guidance [PDF, 1.1 MB]
- National Programme 3 guidance [PDF, 1 MB]
National programme requirements
All national programmes require:
- record keeping to show that you're selling safe food
- registration of business details with your local council (or with MPI if you operate in more than one local area)
- one or more visits from a verifier recognised by MPI
- if you are involved in processing food, you must meet national programme processing requirements.
National Programme 1
National Programme 1 will apply to businesses such as:
- transporters or distributors of food products
- horticultural food producers and horticultural packing operations (packhouses)
- retailers of manufacturer-packaged ice cream and iced confectionery.
National Programme 2
National Programme 2 will apply to businesses such as:
- bread bakeries
- manufacturers of jams, chips and confectionery
- manufacturers of sauces and spreads.
National Programme 3
National Programme 3 will apply to businesses such as:
- brewers and distillers
- food additive manufacturers
- fruit drink and flour manufacturers.
Any food business starting from 1 March 2016 will have to work with the new Food Act.
If you're already in business
If you’re an existing food business, you need to find out when the new rules will apply to you.
Changes to a registered business
If you make a significant change to your business after it is registered, you need to let your registration authority know. A significant change includes a change to:
- the person who runs the business
- the type of food you make or processes you use (your scope of operations)
- your verification agency
- the address details of the sites you operate from.
If you are registered with your local council, contact them about any changes you make. If you are registered with MPI, use the Changes to a food business subject to a National Programme form.
Is a national programme for you?
If you're not sure if your business will operate under a national programme, MPI has a tool—Where Do I Fit?—to help you work it out.
Who to contact
If you have questions about national programmes, email firstname.lastname@example.org.