Posted November 07, 2018 12:24:00 A new strain of the coronavirus that is spreading quickly through the country has prompted a fruit market in Auckland to take on the fruit marketing strategy it has been following for years.
Key points:In March, it was revealed the coronovirus outbreak was spreading faster than expected at a major fruit market, and it has also sparked fears about the safety of productsIt is the first time a fruit and vegetable market has faced a major coronavid outbreak, with growers in the region concerned about the risk of spreading the virusThe industry is trying to figure out how to manage the virus in the market, which is home to around 3,500 businesses and is one of the country’s most popular fruit markets.
“It is a really big market, it’s big enough to take the strain, so we’re trying to work out how best to manage that,” Andrew Brown, general manager of the market at The City of Auckland, said.
“I think we’re just not quite ready to say yet what the future holds for us, because we have had some really good news and we’re seeing some really bad news and a bit of uncertainty.”
Mr Brown said the outbreak was the first in New Zealand.
“We’ve had good news, but we haven’t had great news,” he said.
Mr Brown has been tracking the outbreak for the past year.
“And there have been some really big news that have been announced, but obviously we’ve had some very big scares and a lot of people having been scared by a few bad apples,” he added.
“So it’s been quite a long time since we’ve really seen anything like this.”
The latest scare, which occurred on February 12, is believed to be linked to a coronaviruses first found in fruit.
The outbreak started in Auckland and spread rapidly, with cases in the capital’s shopping precincts, the Queenstown and Auckland CBD and the south of the city.
“A couple of weeks ago, there was one person that was confirmed to have the coronava virus and that person is from the south,” Mr Brown said.
He said the market had been keeping a close eye on the virus and was concerned about what it might mean for people’s health.
“People in the community, they’re really worried and concerned and they want to know what’s going on and how is it spreading and how are we doing that,” he explained.
“But we have to look at what we’re doing to manage it and how can we get out of it.”
The market has been keeping track of the spread of the virus.
The risk of disease spreading in a fruit, vegetable or fruit juice market is higher than other markets because it has a wider range of fruit, vegetables and fruits, which can be more susceptible to the virus, Mr Brown explained.
The market’s chief executive, Andrew Brown said it was the second time he had seen the outbreak spreading.
“There have been two really big outbreaks that happened last year,” he told the ABC.
“In March last year there was a strain of coronavirin that was not in the fruit market and the outbreak started from there and it spread very quickly.”
The first was in December 2016, when there was also an outbreak in the CBD.
Mr Redfern said the markets had been working closely with the Government to ensure the market was safe and had also worked closely with local authorities.
“The Government is very committed to making sure the market is safe and that we’re able to provide a safe environment for people,” he stressed.
“Our staff are trained to deal with coronaviral illness and it’s very important that we have a good quality of food and a good supply of food.”