Seed campaign kicks off
Biosecurity New Zealand is running a social media campaign encouraging New Zealanders to buy seeds from local suppliers.
Demand for fruit and veggie seeds skyrocketed during the COVID-19 lockdown, leading to increased interest in online providers based overseas – some of whom KVH is aware have been offering varieties of kiwifruit seed for sale. Unfortunately, many seeds purchased online aren’t what they say they are and more importantly do not meet New Zealand’s strict biosecurity rules and could risk introducing a plant disease.
Importing seeds is best left to reputable commercial operators who know what they are doing and are aware of what they must always do to meet the rules (including an import permit; phytosanitary certificate; and post entry quarantine for example). The campaign emphasises the risks and makes it clear that anyone can be prosecuted for bringing, or attempting to bring, unwanted plant species or pests and diseases into New Zealand.
Biosecurity New Zealand enforce all requirements and currently officials are making around 600 seed seizures a week. Any report of kiwifruit plants grown from unapproved seed imports will be investigated. Please contact the pest and disease hotline on 0800 80 99 66 if you are aware of any unapproved kiwifruit seed imports.