Tuesday, 25 August 2020 06:55

Retailers' issues ignored — HortNZ

Written by  Staff Reporters
HortNZ chief executive Mike Chapman. HortNZ chief executive Mike Chapman.

HortNZ chief executive Mike Chapman says his organisation wrote to the Prime Minister when the lockdown was first announced asking for independent retailers to be allowed to open during Alert Level 3.

He says in Auckland independent retailers account for 60% of sales to the public and also sell culturally significant fresh fruit and vegetables to their communities, which aren’t readily available in supermarkets.

In the letter, HortNZ tells the PM that in Auckland a large number of households in the poorer outer suburbs have lost the ability to purchase fresh fruit and vegetables from their local retailers at affordable prices. They also warned the PM about the financial effect on growers.

As Rural News went to press on late last week, Chapman says they have not received a response from Ardern – only notice that the matter had been handed on to Minister Phil Twyford for his consideration.

“They need to get their act together because the longer the delay, the more food that is wasted and that is absolutely absurd.” 

Chapman says it’s clear the MoH don’t understand the supply chain. He says the border is based on the Auckland super city boundaries, but a more sensible approach would have been to consider the actual commercial growing production areas.Chapman told Rural News that the MoH never asked for any advice and they seem to be controlling it in their own way.

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