Top tips for harvest hygiene

29 February 2024

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.

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,
  • ensure unpicked fruit is dropped and mulched to prevent bird feeding and wild kiwifruit establishment, and
  • limit access to only established roads and tracks.

Growers should communicate their requirements (as per their On-Orchard Biosecurity Plan) to all coming onto their orchards.

Contractors also need to have a biosecurity plan. Those who are part of Zespri GAP/CAV will have one included in their CAV requirements. Those who are not currently required to hold a Zespri CAV need to complete one of the Non-CAV Contractors Biosecurity Plan forms available on our website.

Also, Onside can be a useful digital tool to help improve harvest operations and keep track of people, machinery, and plant material. KVH biosecurity functionality is included in the app.