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Friday, 27 March 2020 09:44

COVID-19: Advice for the meat industry

Written by  Staff Reporters
B+LNZ chief executive Sam McIvor. B+LNZ chief executive Sam McIvor.

Beef + Lamb NZ (B+LNZ) has released a series of documents to assist farmers in operating under Alert 4.

These documents have been produced in collaboration with Federated Farmers to ensure advice is consistent between the industry groups.

Assistance on registering as an essential service

All essential services must register with the Ministry for Primary Industries’ (MPI) by 5pm, Friday 27 March. 

The following document provides information farmers can draw on to fill in MPI’s essential services registration form: Guidance for on-farm protocols during Alert 4.

B+LNZ says the document sets out protocols that farmers should be putting in place on their farms to protect both family and workers from the spread of COVID-19. 

If you have more than five staff on one business site, you need to register. Further information about whether you need to register, and to fill in the form, is available here.

B+LNZ says if farmers are in doubt, they should register anyway. 

B+LNZ also recommends that farmers contact any key businesses or suppliers required over the next four weeks and ensure they have registered.  

Advice for Alert 4 protocols and systems

This is not business as normal.  

B+LNZ says all farmers need to be putting in place systems for their farm to operate during Alert 4 

Even if you don’t have to register, B+LNZ says it is vital that all farmers have in place protocols and processes on their farm to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect their family and workers.  

B+LNZ says if you do not have good protocols in place, you may lose the right to operate.

The following document contains information to help farmers set up systems to protect themselves and staff: Guidance for on-farm protocols during Alert 4.

This document is a letter that farmers may wish to sign with each staff member so that everyone is clear on expectations: MOU between employee and staff member.

Advice for staff going to and from work

B+LNZ says they are aware that farmworkers could be stopped on the way to work by police.  The following is a draft letter that staff can carry to and from work, either on your person, or as an email on your phone that you can bring up: Letter for staff moving to and from work.

In addition, staff should carry a form of identification (e.g. a driver’s license) 

B+LNZ says it would also be helpful for each worker to carry the day’s job sheet or other documentation showing where they are going and what they will be doing. Keep it simple, do not write a book.

FAQ: The following document provides answers to some frequently asked questions about essential services, which we will keep updating: FAQS.

B+LNZ has set up a COVID-19 page for more background, further updates, and all key documents: https://beeflambnz.com/news-views/coronavirus-covid-19.

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