Zespri has confirmed small deposits of mechanical lubricant have been found on some of its kiwifruit pocket packs, prompting the single desk marketer to put a precautionary hold on some consignments.
A Zespri spokesperson told Fruitnet that all potentially affected product is still within the company’s distribution system and none is available for public sale.
While there may be some delay to customer deliveries, Zespri does not anticipate the move to have a large-scale impact on the 2016 season. The precautionary hold has been placed on approximately 1.7m trays of fruit, which equates to around one per cent of Zespri’s total forecast volume for 2016.
The pocket packs are used to hold kiwifruit in place on single-layer or IT trays. The lubricant has been identified on less than 0.01 per cent of pocket packs to date.
Zespri has moved to suspend the supply and use of pocket packs from the single affected manufacturer.
“We understand the lubricant deposits are due to a small leak from a grease line in a supplier’s Chinese manufacturing plant,” the company said in a statement.
Zespri sources pocket packs from a range of suppliers, which manufacture in Chile, China and New Zealand.
The marketer has commissioned testing to confirm the exact composition of the lubricant. Once Zespri receives these results, it will make further decisions on how to manage the quarantined inventory.