NEWS

Acting PM: Ban On Our Exports Unjustified

Acting Prime Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has criticised New Zealand for suspending Fijian eggplant, mango, breadfruit and papaya imports. “The Fijian Government believes that the actions taken by New Zealand to
08 Aug 2015 14:45
Acting PM: Ban On Our  Exports Unjustified

Acting Prime Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has criticised New Zealand for suspending Fijian eggplant, mango, breadfruit and papaya imports.

“The Fijian Government believes that the actions taken by New Zealand to suspend eggplant, mango, breadfruit and papaya imports are unjustified in light of Fiji’s strong commitment to biosecurity and unblemished record in exporting safe agricultural products throughout the region for many years,” he said.

“New Zealand authorities have raised no concerns about any specific biosecurity risks associated with the shipment in question. We find it highly irregular that New Zealand has opted to suspend all imports of the four commodities rather than simply rejecting any consignment over which they had concerns. “These actions are also inconsistent with New Zealand’s past practices.”

Meanwhile, the Biosecurity Authority of Fiji and the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism are taking urgent action to ensure that Fijian agricultural products continue to be exported freely and safely to New Zealand.

The ban on the shipment of eggplant was due to an anomaly in the operational measures taken in Fiji under the Bilateral Quarantine Agreement.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said: “Nevertheless, the Government of Fiji is conducting an audit of the responsible treatment facility to ensure that its procedures are in line with the standards established in the Bilateral Quarantine Agreement. The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Biosecurity Authority of Fiji have requested to meet in Wellington with New Zealand authorities to resolve this issue.

“This extreme action taken by the New Zealand government impacts the livelihoods of Fijian farmers, and the Fijian Government will not rest until normal exports to New Zealand are restored.”

The NZ Ministry of Primary Industries said last night it was working with Fijian authorities to resolve the situation soon.

It said Fijian exports met most its high Biosecurity standards. But it was concerned with some aspects of the treatment process.

 

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