Following the detection of Cucumber Green Mottle Mosaic Virus (CGMMV) on Australian produce at a routine border inspection, New Zealand’s Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) has implemented a ban on a range of Australian produce.
Rockmelon, honeydew, watermelon, cucumber, and zucchini have all been banned from entering the country until further notice. Despite the detection only appearing on some products, each of these varieties can be affected by the disease.
As of 23 August, the MPI said importers will be offered the option of having consignments either re-shipped or destroyed.
Stuff reported that importers are on standby, and are expecting shipments to recommence shortly. Alongside that, the domestic New Zealand zucchini season is looking to commence mid-September, which will re-fill supply.
Countdown supermarkets were reportedly erecting signs explaining that imported Australian goods were unavailable.
For zucchini the wait will be short, but if shipments of melon don’t recommence soon, consumers could be waiting until next January – the start of the domestic New Zealand season.
On 29 August, Australia's Department of Agriculture issued an industry notice, circulating applications to declare grower properties free from CGMMV. Once the official freedom status is approved, exports will be able to recommence.