It says that there are many biosecurity threats present in other growing regions around the world that are not here in New Zealand, and which could have a devastating impact on local industry.
There have been several reports of fruit flies and Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) incursions close to home in Australia, stink bugs continue to wreak havoc across Europe and the USA, and the soil-borne Brazilian Wilt has caused up to 50% vine loss on Brazilian kiwifruit orchards over recent years.
KVH makes the follwing recommendations for growers and pack house operators:
- Make overseas workers aware of the need for excellent orchard hygiene;
- Make sure they do not bring tools used overseas onto the orchard;
- their footwear was cleaned and sanitised in their home country or at the border – don’t take any chances.
It’s important that growers don’t allow any imported fruit to come onto their orchards. Those who see or hear of someone that has accidently bought fruit or vegetables into New Zealand, make sure it is reported to the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and then appropriately destroyed by being bagged and put in the rubbish, not composted.
KVH adds that growers should keep an eye out for any unusual symptoms on their kiwifruit vines. If any sudden vine wilt is observed – for reasons other than the persistent heat, recently – contact KVH immediately. It says it has great links to MPI and can quickly distinguish the unusual from the ordinary.
The organisation says it is always keen to hear from anyone who may have concerns.