Final update from the Biosecurity Business Pledge for 2022

Get your biosecurity governors and CEO guidance here

By now you have to know we are delighted to have launched these guides. Thanks to members for promoting them through your connections. These tools will prove invaluable no matter where a company is in its biosecurity journey.

The new guidelines are available for download

Stu Anderson DDG BNZ, Peter McBride Chair of Fonterra, and Ray Smith DG MPI at Fieldays 2022


Kristina is pictured here with Shaun Sie, Regulatory Assurance Manager, Auckland Airport 

Congratulations to Auckland Airport winning the GIA Industry Award at the New Zealand Biosecurity Awards

Kristina Cooper, Head of Operations Risk and Assurance is well known to our members for her role in leading and supporting many activities of the Pledge. We are so proud to see Kristina and her team acknowledged for creating a biosecurity culture to make biosecurity matter.

Check out all the NZ Biosecurity Award 2022 winners and finalists here.

 Let’s keep BMSB outta here

As we head into summer, we’re asking everyone to stay on the lookout for brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB). The national public awareness campaign for the pest has started and includes a video promoted across social media channels, particularly targeted at online shoppers and those who have recently returned from overseas travel.

Feel free to share the video below out in your communication channels. Watch the video here

Our members stood out at National Agricultural Fieldays, Mystery Creek

We were so proud to see our members stand featuring their Pledge plinths at the National Fieldays 2022. This is the southern hemisphere’s largest agricultural event with over 1,000 sites.

The role of biosecurity in underpinning Aotearoa New Zealand’s economy, environment and our way of life can’t be underestimated

Fieldays® gave us a great opportunity for members to get together over morning tea, including the Minister for Biosecurity Hon. Damien O’Connor, Kimberly Crewther (Executive Director DCANZ, Chair of the Pledge Members Funders and Reference Groups), Miles Hurrell (CEO, Fonterra), Peter McBride, Chair of Fonterra, Ray Smith (Director General, MPI) and Stuart Anderson (Deputy Director-General, Biosecurity New Zealand).

Thank you to Fonterra for hosting us at their Fieldays site. It was fantastic to get together with a few of our members after so long of working online. Our network is all about building collective biosecurity capability and that requires strong relationships.


Kimberly Crewther, Chair of the Pledge joined by Stu Anderson, DDG Biosecurity New Zealand Hon. Damien O'Connor, Minister for Biosecurity and Miles Hurrell, CEO Fonterra.   

Federated Farmers supporting the Pledge activity onsite at Fieldays 2022   

United Fresh and Silver Fern Farms round off our webinars for the year

One of the key benefits of our network is the willingness of members to share practices, biosecurity tools, and also learnings when we conduct reviews and test ourselves. Our final webinar for the year gave us a great chance to learn from two member companies.

Anne-Marie Arts, Food Safety Representative from United Fresh shared hygiene and cleanliness considerations from a recent study on how to manage the risks that the Brown Rugose Fruit Virus (ToBRFV) and Pepino Mosaic Virus (PepMV) present in relation to their potential spread through the use of Returnable Plastic Crates (RPC).

These viruses are plant viruses that affect yield and quality of tomato crops. The potential pathway into New Zealand would be the imported seed. Both viruses are challenging to manage if established, with ToBRFV considered the more serious.

Returnable Plastic Crates (RPC) are an integral part in moving fresh produce both within a grower’s operations, and around New Zealand. Disruptions to RPC supply or distribution would have a severe impact on the nation’s fresh produce distribution.

Anne-Marie described RPCs as the “glue” that connects all aspects of the Fresh Produce Industry.

Anne-Marie worked alongside other interested parties here and offshore including Tomatoes NZ.

The study came about following the Pepino Mosaic Virus Incursion in 2021 which directly impacts the tomato industry. Its objectives included improving understanding of how to manage the risks that the viruses presented and to find RPC-related solutions that addressed the needs of Tomatoes NZ without compromising the needs of other domestic crop producers who also rely on RPCs. 

The work found that current techniques used to control food borne pathogens are, generally, applicable to biosecurity issues and challenges. However, the industrial scale of RPC distribution and cleaning makes crate separation very difficult.

Recommendations from the work included:

  • Washing and hygiene monitoring practices should be regularly reviewed to align with what is best practice.

  • Frequent monitoring and testing of the RPC washing process minimises the risk of RPCs becoming a spreading route for pathogens.

  • Growers should consider using a Standard Operating Procedure for maintaining RPC cleanliness prior to use.

  • Adoption of the International Commercial Cleaning Standard for RPCs (DIN 10522:2006-01).

Anne-Marie shared that it is important that high-risk crops, for both, food safety and biosecurity need more cooperation between crate washers and growers. This may need to include wrapping, pallet caps/liners on pallets and indoor storage by crate washers. Growers and packers should also develop Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for crate management on site, especially for high-risk crops.

The findings were published in June 2022 and can be read here.

Mark Bull, Food Safety and Regulatory Manager from Silver Fern Farms stressed the importance of biosecurity to a business such as Silver Fern Farms. New Zealand biosecurity status allows them access to export to over 100 countries around the world. In the event of a biosecurity incursion, an efficient response would result in resumption of market access, so it is vital that Silver Fern Farms are able to respond quickly and effectively.

Silver Fern Farms plans and regularly runs simulation exercises to test their preparedness for a variety of situations. Each site has a RORP (Risk Organism Response Plan) which is based on regulatory requirements and guidance from the Meat Industry Association. This is tested at least annually.

Richard shared how firstly they advise MPI that they are about to conduct a simulation. They would not want word of a fake scenario to accidentally be misinterpreted as a real-life situation.

He shared that they test at different times of the day or week to test that systems are always ready to go and are not reliant on one key person, and they have multiple communication contact points. He showed members the plan formatting they use and also that following every simulation they do an evaluation and report back to aid learning. 


Spotlight on new Pledge member, SVS Laboratories

The depth and breadth of our membership continues to grow with over 250 members nationwide. Recently we asked one of our new member companies to tell us more about their involvement in biosecurity related matters.

Based in Hamilton, Chief Executive Richard Campbell, committed SVS to the Pledge in September after learning about it through his contact and work with MPI. Richard said, “Within the last few years my colleagues and I have been involved in incursions such as Thileria and Mycoplasma bovis. These have reinforced the importance of the work we do in regards to biosecurity and remind us to keep vigilant.”

SVS Laboratories is a veterinary diagnostic laboratory working with the farming sector as its core focus. Richard explained that veterinarians, vet technicians and laboratories play a key surveillance role always looking out for any signs of emerging and exotic pests and diseases.

If they identify tell-tale symptoms they then actively encourage their veterinary clients to report any suspicious cases to the MPI hotline. 

We asked Richard what he has learnt since becoming a member of the Biosecurity Business Pledge. He said that involvement with the Pledge and attending webinars has helped heighten focus on biosecurity in SVS Labs and their parent company, the veterinary wholesaler SVS. He told us he has also encouraged several of their veterinary practice clients to join the Pledge.

Thanks for doing that for us Richard!

Kelly Stewart, Molecular Biology Team Leader prepares bloods for M. bovis testing.

Haere mai to new members

A very warm welcome to all our new members. We are currently experiencing a rapid increase in membership.

It is a pleasure to see the breadth and depth of the Pledge expanding. We are now well over 250 members and growing. Please encourage your supply chain partners to join, and don’t hesitate to be in contact us if we can offer support here.

In February we will host another new members webinar suitable for any new staff members and signatories to learn more about how we collaborate and work together.

Are you using our collaborative, members-only channel?

We have a LinkedIn Pledge members-only page. In its infancy, we intend for it to be an interactive, confidential platform where members can share, collaborate and connect. We will moderate content, however the aim is that any members can post and keep other members up to date with the latest events, news and discussion.

You can use this link to request to join or search ‘Biosecurity Business Pledge Members Only’ on LinkedIn.  

The Border Space 

To members who have not signed up to receive The Border Space newsletter, please find the link below to the December issue - a regular update about what Biosecurity New Zealand is doing to keep New Zealand's borders secure form pests and diseases. 

Please email Mike if you want to discuss any of the content in this issue or other biosecurity matters.

Mike Inglis, Northern Regional Commissioner, BNZ E:

Read the newsletter 

Vessel Biosecurity Quarterly

The final edition for 2022 focuses on the requirements for recreational and cruise vessels, provide an update on our standards review, some key statistics, and more. Please feel free to share this newsletter with your colleagues. They can also subscribe here to receive the next issue.

Vessel Biosecurity quarterly, November 2022 – Issue 4

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