Sources claim that Zespri’s exports to China are continuing as normal, even after some of its kiwifruit tested positive for Covid-19 in China last week. This Monday, Zespri chief executive Dan Mathieson said work with authorities was ongoing and all subsequent Covid-19 tests had been negative.
Mathieson said: “All shipments into China have been processed in accordance with standard protocols, including testing for Covid-19 and disinfecting to provide additional certainty. This is the same process all previous imports to China have followed. Our team in China is also working hard with our partners to ensure that trust is maintained, that our industry’s robust health and food safety processes are understood and that any impact on sales is minimized.”
He added that New Zealand’s kiwifruit industry adhered to strict safety standards and to date there had been no reported cases of Covid-19 in orchards or packhouses.
Late last week, Zespri said it had launched “emergency management plans” after a batch of its fruit tested positive for the virus and stocks were pulled from some Chinese supermarket shelves. According to stuff.co.nz, the fruit which tested positive was shipped from Tauranga on August 16, a day before the latest Covid-19 outbreak was discovered in New Zealand.