Top tips for harvest hygiene
Harvest season presents a high-risk period for spreading Psa or other biosecurity risks between blocks, orchards, and regions because of the numbers of vehicles, machinery and people movements involved - even in times of strict Covid-19 protocols when visitor volume may already be less than usual.
Growers are responsible for protecting their orchards, and others, by ensuring the movement risk of harvest equipment, people, and bins onto and around their orchard is minimised.
Top tips for harvest hygiene preparation are:
- make sure contractors and staff understand your hygiene requirements,
- check all equipment (harvest bins, harvest machinery, picking bags etc) coming on to your orchard is free of plant and soil material,
- ensure any harvest bins arriving on the orchard have been sanitised by the pack-house between orchards and are clear of any kiwifruit plant material and soil,
- ensure people check that clothing (particularly headwear and footwear) is free of plant material and soil on entry and exit,
- do not allow workers to bring imported fruit onto the orchard,
- clear loadout areas of weeds before harvest,
- clearly mark parking and hygiene control areas,
- allow only essential vehicles into the production area,
- limit access to only established roads and tracks.
Growers should communicate their requirements (as per their orchard biosecurity plan) to all coming onto their orchards.