Federated Farmers - Member Advisory - COVID-19 Essential Services

March 23 2020


To all members,


As you will all be aware the Prime Minister announced today that New Zealand has moved to a COVID-19 Alert Level 3 and will move to Level 4 on Wednesday at midnight.


This moves the entire country into ‘lockdown’. As you already know, this is designed to slow the transmission of the virus.


This isn’t just about whether you can keep working or not, this is about everyone staying away from everyone else. Don’t go to any gatherings, don’t go to friends for a beer, don’t go to school.


Provision has been made for Essential Services to continuing operating – but on the basis that they put into place systems and practices that minimize the spread of COVID-19.


There is plenty of information here on the COVID-19 website: https://covid19.govt.nz/government-actions/covid-19-alert-system/.


Farming and Horticulture are considered essential services as “Producers of food and beverage”. Also the services associated with the primary sector, including food processing, diagnostics and farm supplies, are all essential services. Freight and trucking are included as essential services, where they support essential services.


We are continuing to clarify what else is, or isn’t, an essential service. But remember, the idea is to keep your distance from others. The list will change, so keep an eye on the website above. Basically, if it is not essential, don’t do it.


While your business may be part of an essential service you need to restrict your activities to essential activities – particularly avoiding travelling and mixing with others.


The golden rule is two metres of separation from others.


Dairy companies are also continuing to pick up milk so keep safe distances if you are at the cowshed at pickup time.


We are assured processing plants are well placed to manage the spread of infections and have plans in place to minimize the risk to their operations. Federated Farmers and the meat companies are fully aware that the widespread drought conditions have aggravated this situation further.


The Prime Minister publicly stated maximizing the flow of imports and exports is a priority, so the best thing Feds’ members can do right now is keep farming, keep to yourself and keep your family healthy.


We will provide more information as it comes to hand.


Thank you for your patience and stay safe.


Katie Milne


Federated Farmers of New Zealand



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