19 Jul 2012

Zespri comments on pollen imports and PSA

6:43 am on 19 July 2012

Zespri has admitted it may not have kept a close enough eye on pollen imports prior to the PSA vine disease being discovered in a Bay of Plenty orchard.

A recent report looking at how PSA entered the country found Zespri had to accept some responsibility for not looking more closely at import requirements given it had first hand knowledge of the disease's impact on Italian orchards.

Zespri chief executive Lain Jager says it's important the company doesn't react defensively to the report.

But he says the company recognises its lack of knowledge fails to meet the standard of excellence expected by growers.

Mr Jager says the company needs to take a strategic look at biosecurity risks as well as engage with the Government proactively on the mitigation of those risks.

An independent report into how the kiwifruit disease entered the country highlighted a breakdown in communication between industry and the Government.

The review, released earlier this month, was not able to determine how PSA arrived but did identify four shortcomings with biosecurity systems including inadequate import controls on kiwifruit pollen.