In October we ran a very successful workshop for those of our wholesale and retail members who operate markets or distribution centres in Auckland’s Mount Wellington District. We introduced the Fruit Fly Response Template which United Fresh developed with the services of The AgriChain Centre and assistance from Andrew Sanders, MPI Biosecurity Capability Network Manager. This workshop will be followed up in 2017 with further training sessions being offered by MPI, involving some key personnel employed at the markets and distribution centres.
As a produce industry, we need to make sure that we are able to deal with biosecurity events that have the potential to severely disrupt distribution of fresh produce to consumers. Those of you who experienced the 2015 Queensland Fruit Fly incursion in Grey Lynn, will be able to appreciate what it would mean if a similar situation were to occur near a market or distribution centre location. The focus is on preparedness. We will keep you advised on the training plans as they evolve.