I was horrified to see that Nandor is not really opposing the food bill and actually states that it will outlaw simple battering and trade in a beurocratic control of the food supply yet he is somewhat supporting it by saying it won’t really effect us what a load of bull s*** Nandor I am not at all impressed and you call yourself a greenie rastafarianwhat a joke
Firstly, the bill will not affect people who grow or process food for themselves and their family or keep seed. The bill does affect people who sell or trade food, including barter, but how much depends of the scale and type of the operation. Keep in mind that barter is not the same as reciprocal gift giving of excess harvest. Barter is a commercial transaction (maintaining value) while gift giving is a social transaction (maintaining relationships). The bill does not mention gift giving at all but I’d argue it does not apply to it.
At the lowest end of the scale, some people who trade food will have no new obligations under the bill. They will be subject to “food handler guidelines” but these will be educative only. This will be for things like clubs providing food to members secondary to an activity, school fairs, growers that sell at the farm gate or at farmers markets, very small scale or home-based production, people who sell things like chippies only, childcare providers where food handling is no more than, say, cutting up apples. This is not a complete list and schedule 3 of the bill sets it out in more detail.
The next level is where people have to go on a public register and will have to comply with a National Programme. These will be designed to identify and deal with potential health risks from food production. NB This will almost certainly not deal with things like pesticide residues or GMOs, but will be aimed at hygiene and gross contamination etc. They will also specify what paperwork businesses need to do to reassure the Ministry that they are complying. National Programmes with be at three levels of hassle, depending on type of business.
Level 1, the easiest, will cover honey, wholesale horticultural growers and pack houses, sugar refineries, people who sell hot drinks and prepackaged foods only, ice cream and ice block makers and food transportation companies.
Level 2 will include bakeries that only make bread, residential child care, lolly makers, dehydrated fruits, crisps and popcorn, jam, pickles and preserves, water and ice, frozen food (not ice cream), cereals and biscuits.
Level 3 businesses include those that make things like alcohol and non-alcohol drinks, edible oils and margerines, food additives (incl. vitamins and minerals), flours and grains and things like dairies with pick ‘n’ mix lollies and garages that heat up pies. Again, a full list of what is covered in set out in schedule 2 of the bill.
The heaviest regulation comes for businesses that have to register a Food Control Plan. This includes the food retail sector (bakeries, dairies that make filled rolls, fish mongers and butchers), food service sector (on premises, home or commercial delivery, take away and mobile) and manufacturers of everything from dairy products, herbs, dips and nuts to commercially sterilised food, dry powders and vegetable proteins. The full list is set out in schedule 1 of the bill.
A Food Control Plan must begin with a detailed description of the business including the type of food it deals with and the nature of the business. It must identify all the hazards and risks and set out how the business will deal with them. It must also set out who is responsible for the plan and verification procedures.
The plan can be developed by an individual business or adapted from someone else’s. It can also be based on a template that the Ministry may develop for different classes of business. The plan must be registered and approved – in practise by the local authority under powers delegated by the Ministry. There are a range of procedures for amending, approving and appealing.
The bill also has special clauses for winemakers and requires importers to be registered on a public register and comply with certain requirements.
If a lot of this looks like incredibly bureaucratic paper-shuffling, that’s because it is. Making dairies write a Food Control Plan with all the on-going verification and paperwork that goes with it because they make filled rolls is kind of bizarre. What’s more, if the dairy gets sold the new owner has to register a new Food Control Plan. I seriously doubt that filled rolls and samosa from the local Four Square present enough of a health risk to New Zealanders to warrant this kind of bureaucratic overkill.
In fact I don’t know any significant problems with the way the system operates now that deserves this level of intervention. The current Food Act from 1981 probably does need updating but this is something far more ambitious than that. It’s Ministry empire building.