8 Apr 2016

1.7m kiwifruit trays may be contaminated

7:04 pm on 8 April 2016

About 1.7 million trays of kiwifruit have been placed on precautionary hold because of potential contamination in the packaging, says Zespri.

Green kiwifruit growers got their highest ever return per hectare of $53,884 and just over $6 a tray.

One tray in 10,000 is believed to be affected Photo: 123RF

Zespri chief operating officer Simon Limmer said none of the kiwifruit was available to the public and was in warehouses or on the water.

Mr Limmer said there was a potential contamination of the packaging, with a mechanical grade lubricant which was used in the manufacturing process.

"So it looks as though the incidence rate is about one tray in 10,000. So it's a relatively small percentage of the trays that are impacted. But obviously we've put that fruit on hold and none of it is in the market.

"Thankfully its business as usual on the New Zealand supply side of things. So the post harvest sector is still operating and we have alternative supplies of packaging. 1.7 million trays is a very small proportion of our total season crop. We will export about 140 million trays of kiwifruit this year so you can see it's a very small proportion of it.