FOUNDATION FOR ARABLE RESEARCH - ESSENTIAL INFORMATION FOR ALL FARMERS- COVID-19
24 March 2020
Essential information for ALL farmers around COVID-19
You must register as an essential business
MPI have made it clear that all food and beverage producers and processors, and their supply chains, are deemed to be essential services. However, just because you are a farmer, doesn’t mean that you automatically become an essential service or business. Our current understanding is that ALL farm businesses must register, individually, as essential businesses. The details of how to do this (it will be an on-line process) are still being worked out, and should be notified within the next couple of days.
Protecting workers and the public
The government is very clear that the key aim for all New Zealanders right now must be to stop the spread of the virus in order to save, potentially, many thousands of lives. Protecting the health of your workers and the public is essential. Therefore, if you register as an essential business, you will have to adapt the way your business and staff operate.
You must be able to show:
1. How are you ensuring that workers and others at work are observing social distancing to and from work, during work and during rest breaks?
2. What personal hygiene steps have you put in place for workers to reduce the likelihood of virus spread at work?
3. What existing, or additional personal protective equipment could you introduce that
would reduce the likelihood of virus spread at work?
4. What steps are you taking to limit access to your plants apart from essential workers?
5. How are you isolating staff, or parts of your processing plants, so that virus spread would be contained should it occur?
6. What arrangements have you put in place for staff to report any illness and remove themselves from work?
7. What arrangement have you put in place for staff to report any suspected exposure to COVID-19?
8. What actions would you take should a staff member be suspected of or confirmed as having COVID-19?
9. How do you ensure that staff at particular risk of COVID-19 identify themselves and are isolated from work?
10. How will you ensure that your workers observe ‘stay at home’ rules at the conclusion
of each working day?
These questions will be part of the MPI registration process - if you cannot address them satisfactorily, you will not be able to remain open for business.
Non-essential staff members must stay at home.
FAR will be working with other sector groups to look at supporting your businesses to address these questions. Please contact [email protected] if you have any specific queries and we will do our best to find the answers for you.
FAR will continue to closely monitor the COVID-19 coronavirus situation and its potential impact on the arable industry. Updated information will be posted on our website and included in our FAR Weekly e-newsletter (subscribe here).
Foundation for Arable Research