New Zealand’s commercial fruit and vegetable growers are asking everyone going to the World Cup Cricket match at Eden Park tomorrow to help smash an unwanted Aussie visitor for a six.
The industry that takes every opportunity to promote healthy eating is taking the unusual step of asking fans not to take fresh fruit or vegetables with them into the stadium.
This request comes in the wake of last week’s discovery of a small localised population of Queensland fruit flies in the Auckland suburb of Grey Lynn.
Eden Park, the venue for Saturday’s World Cup Cricket clash between Australia and New Zealand, is right on the border of the controlled area.
This means no fruit and vegetable material can be taken out of the stadium.
“We are asking cricket fans to leave their fruit and vegetables at home when they head to the stadium,” Horticulture New Zealand chief executive Peter Silcock says.
“You know it must be a serious situation if we are asking people NOT to have fruit and vegetables.”
Three industry groups have joined together to pay for a full page advertisement in today’s New Zealand Herald to ask cricket fans not to take fruit to the ground. Click here to view the advertisment.
“We feel it is the most pragmatic approach. It makes sense to ask people not to take food into the ground which would ultimately need to be thrown away as they were leaving,” Pipfruit New Zealand chief executive Alan Pollard says.
The horticulture industry is united in its support of the Ministry for Primary Industries response to the fruit fly.
“We are grateful to the residents in the controlled areas who have been inconvenienced by this discovery, and also to the staff working on it and the organisers of the Pasifika event and the cricket who have had to make significant changes to their plans,” Kiwifruit Vine Health chief executive Barry O’Neil says.
The potential risk to the $6 billion New Zealand horticulture industry (including fruit, vegetables and wine) from the Queensland Fruit Fly establishing here is two-fold:
the destruction caused by the pest and the on-going cost of attempting to control it; and
the cost of international markets choosing not to accept our products.
The pest would also have a devastating effect on New Zealand’s home gardeners.
For further comment:
Peter Silcock, chief executive, Horticulture New Zealand 027 448 7036
Alan Pollard, chief executive, Pipfruit New Zealand 021 576 109
Barry O’Neil, chief executive, Kiwifruit Vine Health 022 108 7007
Growers urge cricket fans to leave fruit at home!
KVH, Horticulture NZ and Pipfruit NZ have joined together to place a full page advertisement in today’s New Zealand Herald asking cricket fans NOT to take fruit into the ground for tomorrow’s Cricket World Cup game.
Eden Park, the venue for tomorrow’s World Cup Cricket clash between Australia and New Zealand, is right on the border of the controlled area.
A joint media statement reinforcing this message was released this morning. It was quickly picked up by media providing further coverage.
Mitigating the risk at tomorrow’s Cricket World Cup game at Eden Park
Planning is well underway to reduce the risks at tomorrow’s Cricket Word Cup game between New Zealand and Australia.
Fifty eight staff, including uniformed MPI and Auckland City Council staff will join security at Eden Park tomorrow to to ensure fruit and vegetables are not taken out of the controlled area.
There is a detailed plan for the removal of all waste (expected to be around 10.5 tonnes) from the ground, including sweeping every seat row. Waste will be taken to a biosecurity waste disposal facility and held at a high temperature that kills insects in all stages of their life cycle.
QFF situation update
The total number of fruit flies found to date now stands at eight.
DNA testing is ongoing and all flies tested to date are genetically similar. Therefore it’s most likely we are dealing with a single incursion.
There has been a second discovery of larvae inside Zone A from fruit harvested from a property where a male Queensland fruit fly had earlier been trapped.
The larvae were from fruit gathered from a property that is 80m from the site where larvae and one pupa were found last week. As the larvae were nearby and within Zone A this is not considered a significant development and it is not unexpected to find more larvae.
MPI remains confident this is a small localised population and will be successfully eradicated.
Ground operations continue today in the Controlled Area with around 180 field staff on the ground (from MPI, AsureQuality and partners, including Auckland Council and the horticulture industry).
Field work continues to focus on the surveillance trapping system, which aims to capture any male fruit flies present in the area.
Field teams are also applying insecticide bait throughout the Controlled Area, informing residents about the controls and inspecting gardens and rubbish bins.
Potential market impact
Zespri along with MPI is closely monitoring the market response and expects to have a clearer picture of the situation from MPI over the next week or two.
KVH has reduced its industry communications on the fruit fly situation to twice-weekly. This will then be circulated to the wider industry through the KVH Bulletin Special Edition and made available on the KVH website.
Should circumstances significantly change, we will provide an update to industry immediately.
A set of FAQs have been developed and are available on the KVH website here. These will be updated as more information comes to light or if additional questions are added.
Detailed maps of the controlled area and a full description of the boundaries, and full information about the rules are available on the MPI website.