Contractors: what you need to know
The introduction of the new Pathway Plan helps the kiwifruit industry to prevent the spread of pests and diseases before we know they are here. This will give us the best possible chance of eradication and will minimise impacts to our industry.
Our approach to risk management focuses on several key pathways. If we manage risk across these, we’ll be a long way towards protecting our investments from future biosecurity risk.
Contractors are one of these pathways and it is important for growers, and contractors themselves, to understand what the requirements are under the Pathway Plan from 1 April 2022.
People and equipment are a high-risk pathway because they may visit many orchards in a short timeframe and can transmit a wide range of organisms on contaminated tools, machinery, plant material or personal effects. A key focus of the kiwifruit grower On-Orchard Biosecurity Plan template is that growers manage the biosecurity risk of all visitors to their orchard. However, the management of people and equipment risk doesn’t only sit with growers and the new Pathway Plan also requires contractors to actively manage their biosecurity risks
To help ensure growers can have confidence that their contractors are not adding any additional biosecurity risk to their orchards, kiwifruit contractors are required to have their own biosecurity plan that identifies the risks they may be bringing on to the orchard with them, and the steps they are taking to manage these risks.
Biosecurity plans don’t have to be a defined length, follow a particular format, or look a certain way. There is no one size to fit all – the most important thing is that the plan is tailored to appropriately manage any risk that may be encountered and is well understood by all parties involved so that it is consistently operated to.
What does this mean for you?
- If you’re a contractor who is part of the Zespri Gap/Compliance Assessment Verification (CAV) you will have a biosecurity plan included as part of your CAV requirements, and this will be audited as part of their existing CAV audit. You can see a template CAV biosecurity plan on the KVH website.
- If you’re a contractor not currently part of the Zespri CAV, you need to create and complete a biosecurity plan that you can present to growers. KVH has created a useful template, available on the website, which you can type into or print and handwrite. We’ve made template editable as you may also choose to adapt it to suit your needs, and include other requirements, such as Covid-19 protocols for example.
- If you’re a grower, you need to ensure the contractors who come on to your orchards have evidence that they either hold a current Zespri CAV or have completed a Non-CAV Contractors Biosecurity Plan. You then need to ensure biosecurity risks posed by contractors, their people and equipment, are appropriately managed.