Choosing and preparing the right programme

Find out about food control plans (FCPs) and risk management programmes (RMPs) for the dairy industry, which one best suits your operation, and how to prepare it.


Operating under the Food Act

The Food Act 2014 came into force on 1 March 2016. The Act applies to all new food businesses that started from that date.

Existing businesses (registered under the Food Act 1981 or Food Hygiene Regulations 1974 before 29 February 2016) are making the transition between 2016 and 2019. Find out when your type of business has to start operating under the Act.

What FCPs and RMPs are for

Whether you choose to operate under an FCP or an RMP, the technical requirements for dairy businesses are essentially the same. When you prepare your programme, you write up a set of procedures explaining how you meet your food safety requirements.

The procedures describe:

  • how you have identified hazards associated with your process
  • how you will control the hazards
  • the monitoring and record-keeping you will do
  • what you need to do if something goes wrong.

Choosing between an FCP and an RMP

Some operators must have an RMP and others can choose which type of programme they have.

Why choose an FCP

You may choose to operate under an FCP because:

  • you manufacture other products under your FCP, and
  • you only sell your products in New Zealand and Australia – the domestic market.

Why choose an RMP

You may choose to operate under an RMP because:

  • you intend to export your dairy products now or in the future
  • you want one programme to cover both your milking and dairy manufacturing operations.

Learn how the requirement to have an RMP or FCP applies to dairy manufacturers.

Preparing your RMP or FCP

Preparing an RMP or FCP means documenting and implementing procedures to ensure the safety and suitability of the food you are handling. Before you begin operating, your RMP or FCP needs to be:

  • evaluated
  • verified
  • submitted to be registered with MPI.

Evaluation and verification

Before you submit your RMP or FCP to MPI, it may need to be evaluated by a person recognised by MPI to do this work. In some cases, you can be exempted from this requirement if you complete your RMP by following a code of practice (COP).

After it is registered with MPI, your RMP or FCP is verified or audited from time to time by an MPI-approved agency, to make sure you're still following the procedures in your programme.

There are charges for these services, which you pay to MPI and your verifier. Find out more about the charges that may apply.

COPs for dairy manufacturing

A COP can help you prepare your RMP using industry-agreed procedures and templates, which you can fill in. This makes the evaluation and external verification procedures for your RMP simpler. The COP is either close to or comparable with the requirements of the RMP.

Most COPs are accompanied by guidance to help you complete the documentation. You don't have to use a COP, but if you don’t you must have your RMP or FCP evaluated before you can submit it to MPI for registration.

The COPs for dairy operations cover:

  • raw milk products
  • heat treatment
  • design and operation of dairies
  • manufacturing ice cream
  • making specialist cheeses.

Learn more about the COPs for dairy:

Find out more

See the general information about developing and registering RMPs,  FCPs and COPs:

Last reviewed: | Has this been useful? Give us your feedback
Feedback