The Produce Marketing Association Australia-New Zealand (PMA A-NZ) assures retailers they are closely monitoring the impact of COVID-19 on the fresh produce industry.
PMA A-NZ emphasise that fruit and vegetable consumption is a critical way to support consumers mental and physical wellbeing and at this stage in the World Health Organization (WHO) has indicated that there is no evidence that food is a likely source or route of transmission of the virus.
“What we do know is that the usual sanitisers at the recommended concentrations are largely effective against most coronaviruses – including chlorine-based, QUATS, and peracetic acids,” explains Head of Food Safety at PMA A-NZ, Deon Mahoney.
“Additionally, adopting good food handling practices and good personal hygiene are vitally important to ensure Australians continue to enjoy safe eating.”
PMA A-NZ CEO, Darren Keating adds: “We also need to take on the idea of social distancing in our farms, processing and packing facilities.
“One of the key challenges to keeping the supply chain running is to manage your people and their health. This could include keeping visitors and non-essentials staff members away from your sites, as well as looking at strategies to split up your teams as a preventative measure.”
The restrictions on gatherings and travel have resulted in some changes to how PMA A-NZ delivers their events and networking.
PMA A-NZ is working on alternate ways to keep the industry connected and informed.