New Zealand export industries are nervous as new safety audits by Chinese authorities seem to stretch from the seafood industry to the apple industry. Pipfruit industry body New Zealand Apple and Pears confirmed that the audits were set to begin with some of its growers.
The audits are being conducted virtually with the help of the Ministry for Primary Industries, which regulates export facilities. The Ministry said the audits would involve a mix of six orchards or packhouses and that they were the only audits scheduled at present.
China Customs told its trading partners in December that it wanted food companies to be made aware of its Covid prevention guidelines which include daily temperature checks, regular testing and disinfection. New Zealand’s stance is that its Covid measures are appropriate and that, for example, at Alert Level 1, mask wearing is not mandatory. It maintains that World Health Organisation guidelines do not differentiate on a country's Covid status.