*Since June 2019, MPI has overhauled the custom food control plan system so some information below will no longer be accurate*. We will update this article when this new system settles down and the process becomes clear.

Whats the Difference between a Template Food Control Plan and a Custom Food Control Plan

If you read the MPI website for information about starting a food business, you can be excused for getting a bit confused. Unfortunately, a lot of food legislation stuff is written in a very prescribed way, it just has to be that way. It needs a little interpretation. One question you might have is ” Whats the Difference between a Template Food Control Plan and a Custom Food Control Plan”.

The main differences are as follows.

  1. Cost
  2. Time
  3. Scope
  4. Strategy

Let’s start with cost… A template food control plan is going to cost you about a thousand dollars which you pay your local council. You fill in a mountain of forms and template, they come into your premises and check out the premises, and your paperwork, and you’re ready to go. It should take about a month if you’re onto it.

You will however be heavily restricted as to what you can do. Typically, template food control plans are designed for cafes and restaurants, not manufacturers. There is however some scope and loopholes for selling packaged goods. There is also some scope for ‘limited wholesaling’ but this is not very well defined and no one will tell you what this actually means. You can tailor a strategy around this.

A custom food control plan is a lot different. The information you will find about them on the MPI website does not describe them very well. You will be facing about $10,000 worth of costs in the first year and be drowning in confusion and paperwork. Budget 4-6 months of prep work before you can start making products. You will be able to define your own scope as to what you can make and who you can sell it to, but if you want to change that scope you may have to be re-evaluated.

When you speak to your local council or MPI about making a packaged product they will almost certainly tell you that you need to be on a Custom Food Control Plan or the next level down which are called National Programmes. We have successfully argued on behalf of several businesses that they can operate under a template food control plan because we know of a lot of loopholes and precedent. If you think the requirements for your business are over the top, then give us a call and we might be able to get you going quicker and for a lot less cost.