Woolworths GEN

Member companies of the Australian Fresh Produce Alliance (AFPA) are working closely with the Australian government and retailers to ensure the most comprehensive systems are in place to deal with the impact of coronavirus.

In a statement released today, AFPA chief executive, Michael Rogers, said the alliance’s members are at the forefront of efforts to maintain supply of fresh produce to all Australians.

“They are focussed on ensuring business continuity in order to maintain crop production, harvesting and supply. It is vitally important in these unprecedented times for people to be able to access and continue to consume healthy and nutritious food,” said Rogers.

Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ), the government agency responsible for protecting the health and safety of people in Australia and New Zealand by maintaining a safe food supply, has advised that ‘transmission of coronavirus through food is unlikely and there is no evidence of this occurring with novel coronavirus to date, however investigations into how the virus spreads are continuing.’

“Rigorous food safety and quality systems are already in place to guard against the spread of foodborne illnesses and viruses. Farmers remain vigilant in providing safe and nutritious fruit and vegetables to all Australians while managing the impact of coronavirus on individual businesses,” said Rogers.

AFPA members have more than 100 productions locations across Australia, and working with their 1,500 supplier growers, account for more than half of the fruit and vegetable supply in Australia.

AFPA has reiterated the Australian fruit and vegetable sector is productive, efficient, and resilient.

“In recognition of the fact that circumstances are changing on a daily basis, we will continue to work closely and cooperatively with government and retailers to ensure our members are doing all they can to continue the supply of fresh fruit and vegetables for all Australians,” added Rogers.