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United Fresh News > COVID-19 Update - MPI's Register for Safe Practice and Fruit & Vegetable Shops Closing

25 March 2020

COVID-19 Update - MPI's Register for Safe Practice and Fruit & Vegetable Shops Closing

MPI's Register for Safe Practice

As New Zealand moves into National Alert Level 4 in response to COVID-19, the primary industries have been included on the list of essential services.

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) now needs assurances from industries and businesses that their processes protect workers and the public by limiting interactions and reducing the potential spread of COVID-19.

MPI will do all they can to support the sector through this process. However, without these assurances, businesses will not be able to operate.

If you provide an essential service MPI require you to register with them, and following they ask you 11 critical questions about how you intend to stop any spread of COVID-19.

There are a couple of simple questions operators can ask themselves before registering:

  • Do you have 5 or fewer people (including the owner) working at each business site?
  • Can you achieve social distancing measures between staff in your workplace, including travelling to and from work?
  • If you answer YES to both of those questions, then you do not need to register and do not need to fill in the form.
    • If you answered NO to either of these questions, you MUST fill in the form.
    • If in doubt, fill in the form
To register or for further information, click here
 

Fruit and Vegetable Shops to Close 

 
Today we have written to the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment to respectfully request that fruit and vegetable shops are able to remain open as an essential service.
 
New Zealanders need full access to fresh produce now, more than ever, and the opportunity to buy healthy fruit and vegetables must be as accessible as possible.  Eating seasonal fresh produce will help Kiwis maintain a healthy immune system against colds or flu-related illnesses.
 
We fully understand and support the Government’s rationale for limiting movement over the next month. However, fruit and vegetable stores currently work with the supply chain to provide an essential service to New Zealanders. We believe that they have an ability to ease some pressure from the supermarkets (who are doing an incredible job). We also believe, fruit and vegetables stores can be, while following Government’s guidance, safe for Kiwi shoppers during this time.
 
We will keep you posted on how this goes, in the meantime we are securing television and radio news coverage to raise awareness of the important role fresh fruit and vegetables will play as we unite against COVID-19.