Statement by Freshmark Chairperson Carlo Trimboli about the fresh produce industry’s response to the current Omicron strain of COVID-19’s impact on the fresh produce supply chain.
“The COVID-19 crisis’s potency comes from its power to touch the lives of everyone across Australia. The current Omicron strain of COVID has decimated Australia’s labour supply, especially regarding the vital transporting of essential fundamentals, like fresh produce. In response, our industry has been working even harder to maintain fruit and vegetable supplies and have worked collaboratively with the transport sector to ensure Australia’s food security is uncompromised.
“As an essential service, all central markets and transportation systems have been working around the clock to undertake measures that strengthen each link in the chain proactively.
“Farms are appointing more staff for harvesting, sorting, and packing, and government agencies are ensuring that they have easy access to labour and close contact health order rules have been diluted for essential services to ensure the fresh produce industry functions unimpeded. The same can be said of transportation, the one thing that connects all stages of the supply chain, from farm to food processing to warehouse to greengrocer.
“Our industry’s collective resolve will maintain a fluid and flexible delivery to all retailers to ensure Australian’s have peace of mind that they will have unlimited and continuous access to food.”