COVID-19 Updates and Resources for the New Zealand Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Industry


All of New Zealand is at Alert Level 1

Auckland joined the rest of New Zealand at Alert Level 1 at 11:59pm on Wednesday 7th October 2020.


Available Documents

Potential for Foodborne Transmission of COVID-19: Literature Review Update - July 2020

United Fresh is working with a wide range of organisations to support the New Zealand Food Safety & Science Research Centre literature review updates.




NZFSSRC - COVID-19 Guidance Document for PPE

A guidance document regarding the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) has also been developed by the NZFSSRC. 

NZFSSRC - COVID-19 Guidance Document for PPE


United Fresh COVID-19 Contacts:

General & Media Enquiries: Paula Dudley, General Manager, United Fresh New Zealand Incorporated 

Supply Chain: Jerry Prendergast, President, United Fresh New Zealand Incorporated, 

Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Boxes for Community Groups: Stephanie Wrathall, Project Manager, United Fresh New Zealand Incorporated 

Food Safety: Anne-Marie Arts, Food Safety Representative, United Fresh Technical Advisory Group 

Technical Queries:  Dr Hans Maurer, Chair, United Fresh Technical Advisory Group 

Horticulture New Zealand has information and resources specifically for New Zealand Growers, link here.


United Fresh Covid-19 Workplace Posters

COVID-19 Hand-washing Poster - March 2020

United Fresh Hand-washing Poster

Download COVID-19 Hand-washing Poster




COVID-19 Hand-washing Poster - March 2020

Protect Yourself and Others from COVID-19 Poster

Download Protect Yourself and Others from COVID-19 Poster




At Alert Level 1 we all need to be ready in case COVID-19 reappears in our community.

Golden rules at Alert Level 1


If you're sick

  • Staying at home if you’re sick is especially important at Alert Level 1. The risk of COVID-19 being spread in the community is much greater when there are no restrictions on gatherings or going out.
  • Get a test if you have symptoms: If you have cold or flu symptoms, stay home and call your GP or Healthline on 0800 358 5453 to see if you need a test.


Maintain good hygiene 

  • Keep up good hand washing practices, using soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and drying thoroughly
  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow
  • Keep surfaces clean


Face coverings help keep you and others safe

  • Continuing good habits with face coverings will keep you and others safe, even at Alert Level 1 when it’s no longer compulsory.
  • The governement encourage you to use face coverings on public transport and when you cannot maintain physical distance from people you do not know, for example in supermarkets.
  • Be prepared by having a supply of face coverings for everyone who usually lives in your household. Add some to your household emergency kit.


Keep track of where you’ve been and who you've seen

At Alert Level 1, there is still a risk of COVID-19 returning to the community. The government encourages you to continue tracking where you’ve been and who you’ve seen to help with contact tracing, if required.


Keep your distance

COVID-19 is contained at Alert Level 1, but it’s still worthwhile to keep a safe distance from people you don’t know while out and about. This will help to minimise the spread of COVID-19 if community transmission returns.


COVID-19 Official App

The Ministry of Health has released the NZ COVID Tracer app to support contact tracing in New Zealand.

Any business or public facing organisation with a New Zealand Business Number can generate a QR code poster for each of their premises through the Business Connect online service.

NZ COVID Tracer is available from the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. 

How to download the NZ COVID Tracer app

How to register and get QR code posters

Information about contact tracing in New Zealand


Food Safety:

According to the NZ Food Safety Science & Research Centre and MPI, so far, there is no evidence that humans have been infected by swallowing the virus in or on food or drink, though it has been found in a small number of faecal samples. The strong acid in the stomach is thought to destroy this type of virus.

The European Food Safety Authority have also stated: There is no evidence that food is a likely source or root transmission of COVID-19.

The World Health Organisation & Food and Agriculture Organization of the United States has put together this document: COVID-19 and food safety: guidance for food businesses, download here.


Key Information from MPI:

Primary sector information, link here.

MPI key advice for food businesses (including the pan-fresh fruit and vegetable industry) is that “it is unlikely that COVID-19 can be transmitted through food, and there isn’t evidence to date of this happening. It is more important than ever that food businesses apply strict food preparation and hygiene practices.

For more COVID-19 food safety information and updates, visit

Where businesses want to take extra measures to protect their staff and customers, they should do so in line with Ministry of Health advice on social distancing and limiting the spread of the virus – contact the Healthline team on 0800 358 5453, visit, or the all of Government COVID-19 website”.


Key Websites & Information

Unite Against COVID-19 - Government Platforms:


COVID-19 Economic Response Package, link here.

EMA - Obligations for Employers to manage Novel Coronavirus, link here.

MBIE - Information for Businesses, link here.

NZTE - Information for Exporters, link here.

WORKSAFE - COVID-19 Safety Plan, What you need to think about, link here.

WORKSAFE - COVID-19 Alert Level 1 Approach, link here.

  • 24 Aug 2020


    The Prime Minister has announced that Auckland will remain at Alert Level 3 until Sunday 30th August at 11:59pmas decided at the Cabinet Meeting today

    View Story
  • 17 Aug 2020

    COVID 19 UPDATE - All Businesses need NZ COVID Tracer QR Code Poster & Auckland Border Crossing Info

    The Prime Minister announced on Wednesday 12 August that all businesses must display a NZ COVID Tracer QR code from 11:59am on Wednesday 19 August.

    View Story
  • 14 Aug 2020

    COVID-19 UPDATE - NZ Food Safety Scientific Opinion on Covid-19 transmission through food packaging

    To follow is the most up-to-date information from the Ministry for Primary industries on the unlikely transmission of COVID-19 by food or food packaging.

    View Story
  • 26 Jun 2020

    United Fresh Food Safety Update June 2020 - Research, COVID-19 & Fresh Produce Food Safety Framework

    This edition discusses activities and initiatives underway in the food safety and traceability arena over the last year. We examine the increasing collaboration across industry in food safety and a proposed New Zealand Fresh Produce Food Safety Framework Research Project.

    View Story
  • 09 Jun 2020

    COVID-19 Update โ€“ United Fresh Business Guide at ALERT LEVEL 1

    Now we have moved into Alert Level 1 everyone can return without restriction to work, school, sports and domestic travel, and you can get together with as many people as you want.

    View Story
  • 22 May 2020

    Potential for Foodborne Transmission of COVID-19: Literature Review Update - May 2020

    The New Zealand Food Safety Science Research Centre (NZFSSRC) have released an update of the potential for foodborne transmission of Covid-19 literature review.

    View Story
  • 28 Apr 2020

    COVID-19 UPDATE โ€“ ALERT LEVEL 3 - Updated Guide & Business Guidelines

    Guide to Keeping Our People & Workplaces Well During ALERT LEVEL 3 and Essential Businesses to stay on restricted access during ALERT LEVEL 3

    View Story
  • 16 Apr 2020

    COVID-19 UPDATE - Government announces what Alert Level 3 will look like

    The government shared earlier today the work that has been done on updating the COVID-19 Alert Levels. You will find the updated levels here.

    View Story
  • 15 Apr 2020

    5000 5+ A Day Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Boxes Diverted to Families During Covid-19

    Fresh produce deemed for the Fruit and Vegetables in Schools (FIS) initiative is now being diverted to families in need during Covid-19 lockdown.

    View Story
  • 08 Apr 2020

    NZFSSRC Potential For Foodborne Transmission Of Covid-19 Literature Review Update - April 2020

    United Fresh is cooperating with wide range of food industries and organisations to support the New Zealand Food Safety & Science Research Centre literature review update Potential For Foodborne Transmission Of Covid-19.

    View Story
  • 08 Apr 2020 Website Produce Washing Advice Updated

    The government website for COVID-19 has been updated with the correct information for consumers around the washing of fresh fruit and vegetables once they get them home. We had asked them to remove their advice of using soapy water last week so it is great to see this has happened.

    View Story
  • 30 Mar 2020

    United Fresh Urges Kiwis to Eat More Fresh Produce and to Wash It First

    New Zealanders can safely purchase fresh fruit and vegetables during COVID-19 and our country’s only pan-produce organisation that represents the entire value-chain, United Fresh, is reminding Kiwis to wash all produce as you normally would by rinsing it under the tap before consuming it.

    View Story
  • 27 Mar 2020

    COVID-19 Update - MPI Starts Site Visits & Physical Distancing Poster

    MPI starting site visits today, Friday 27th March and United Fresh Physical Distancing poster shared.

    View Story
  • 26 Mar 2020

    MPI answers key COVID-19 questions for fresh fruit and vegetable industry

    MPI answers questions about 2m distancing rule, access to protection equipment, workers over 70, independant F&V shops and movement to & from work.

    View Story
  • 25 Mar 2020

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

    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 and fruit and vegetable stores to close.

    View Story
  • 25 Mar 2020

    COVID-19 Alert Level 4 and UF Guide to Business Continuity

    COVID Alert Level 4 Description & United Fresh Guide to Keeping Our People & Workplaces Well – Continuity Planning for Businesses 

    View Story
  • 23 Mar 2020

    COVID-19 Alert Level 3

    The government has now put New Zealand into Alert Level 3 (and indicated that this will go to Alert Level 4 in 48 hours).

    View Story
  • 23 Mar 2020

    COVID-19 Alert Level 2 Update โ€“ Government Asks Commerce Commission For Flexibility

    As we all work together as a nation and industry to contain the outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) to help protect our people, United Fresh will continue to provide updates for our industry to assist with business continuity.

    View Story
  • 19 Mar 2020

    COVID-19 Update including New Government Information Platforms

    The government has created a website that has everything you need to know about COVID-19 in one place.

    View Story
  • 17 Mar 2020

    Literature Review - Foodborne Transmission of COVID-19

    Our colleagues at the New Zealand Food Safety Science & Research Centre (NZFSSRC) have shared their Literature Review on Foodborne Transmission of COVID-19 for the food industry.

    View Story
  • 05 Mar 2020

    COVID-19 Update for United Fresh Members

    We are all very concerned about the potential impact  COVID-19 could have on our businesses. The purpose of this update is to distil the key messages of what we need to consider.

    View Story