ExportNZ says there is no reason for concern about food manufacturing and exporting during the Covid-19 crisis.
Concerns are being expressed on talkback and social media about food manufacturers and food exporters continuing to operate during the lockdown.
But ExportNZ Executive Director Catherine Beard says supplying food is an essential activity, and all governments around the world – including New Zealand – are prioritising food production, importing and exporting.
“New Zealand is part of a global food supply chain which would be disrupted if we started putting restrictions on food exports,” Catherine Beard said.
“Food exports are going to help New Zealand weather this economic storm. 70-80% of goods exports are food-related and they are essential to our economy.
“Nor is there cause for concern about working conditions, as food manufacturing businesses are already highly regulated and sanitised environments.
“Employers will be taking extra care about working conditions to keep employees safe, in line with Government recommendations for safe working conditions in a Covid19 situation.
“Any employee with safety concerns should talk to their employer. Employers don’t want sick workers coming to work with even a cold. Employers will be highly vigilant around the safety of their workers as they don’t want to risk a shut down.”