The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) today announced changes to the movement controls for fruit and vegetables in the Queensland fruit fly Controlled Area.
These changes will enable customers to purchase fruit and vegetables from MPI-Approved Retailers within the Controlled Area that they can take outside of the Controlled Area.
“For the public and the retailers approved by MPI, it will mean that shopping for fresh produce within the Controlled Zone will be getting closer to normal,” says Veronica Herrera, Director, Investigation, Diagnostic Centres and Response.
“MPI-Approved Retailers will be required to take precautions when purchasing and selling fresh produce, to avoid potentially spreading Queensland fruit fly. They will source all fruit and vegetables for sale from outside the Controlled Area, and protect the produce from exposure to Queensland fruit fly during transit to stores. Some retailers may also be required to cover fruit and vegetables in their store with a fruit fly resistant mesh so that fruit flies cannot lay eggs on the produce.”
Approved retailers will be required to seal the fresh produce in a supermarket plastic bag so customers are able to safely move it out of the Controlled Area. Customers may not remove the fruit from the plastic bag until it is outside the Controlled Area. MPI requires that customers keep their receipt as proof of purchase when they move the produce out of the Controlled Area.
“The Horticulture industry has been fully supportive of these changes and is working with MPI and retailers in the Controlled Area to source fresh produce that can be purchased, transported and sold under the new movement controls,” says Dr Herrera.
People will be able to identify approved retailers in the Controlled Area as they will display this MPI poster .
A list of approved retailers and more information is available on MPI’s website: http://www.biosecurity.govt.nz/pests/queensland-fruit-fly