Post harvest Rot detected on three consignments of New Zealand apples to China

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Post-harvest rot has been detected on three consignments of apples from New Zealand exported to China.

The rot, caused by the fungus Neofabraea alba does not pose any food safety risk but has been identified as a quarantine pest by China for plant health reasons.

“The New Zealand Government and apple industry are working with Chinese quarantine officials to provide all the technical and scientific information about N. alba that they have requested,” says Ministry for Primary Industries manager import and export plants, Stephen Butcher.

“MPI and MFAT officials met with AQSIQ counterparts in Beijing and discussions are continuing. It is important that AQSIQ is given the technical information they need to assess the risk of the pathogen being brought into China. These kinds of notifications happen from time to time in international trade, MPI and Chinese officials are working collaboratively to resolve the matter.

“In response to the detection, Chinese authorities have identified a small number of production sites and packhouses in Hawke's Bay where these consignments originated from, and have requested that apples from those sites be suspended from exporting to China. This is not targeted at all apple exports to China.”

“Industry has informed us that in response to the rot being detected - and considering this apple export season is almost over - it has voluntarily suspended all apple exports to China for the remainder of the season.”

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