Member Advisory

COVID-19 update

25 January 2022

The Pan Sector Industry Working Group (IWG) was formed to help prepare and support farmers dealing with COVID-19. The IWG has been continuing to work on the ever-changing situation and is now encouraging farmers to have an ‘on-farm survival kit’. 
The IWG includes B+LNZ, DairyNZ, Deer Industry NZ, Federated Farmers, NZPork, Poultry Industry and Egg Producers, RST’s with support from MPI. 
Omicron is expected to have a greater spread and subsequent impact in the farming community than previous COVID-19 variants, which could create more pressure on farmers, agricultural support services, retailers, and processors. This means planning is even more essential than ever. 
We have a COVID-19 checklist, designed to get you thinking about what sort of things you need to consider if you or your staff get the virus or become a close contact.
The IWG has been engaging with our Australian counterparts on the difficulties they are facing with Omicron. This has identified how important the whole of the supply chain is to farmers. Generally, we think of this in immediate terms such as ‘can my processor take my animals?’, but in Australia the larger impact lies closer to the consumer end of the supply chain, i.e., ‘can the retailer selling my product stock the shelves?’ Or ‘can the transporter deliver the product?’. When these pieces of the supply chain fail, a ripple effect occurs, which ends up with farmers having to hold over stock for longer periods of time than they would like. 
The IWG is advising farmers to put together an ‘on-farm survival kit’ that contains equipment or supplies that may be needed if they became inaccessible due to retail or service businesses closing for a period. All those things that you use and top-up on a regular basis e.g., veterinary supplies, stock feed, pipe fittings, and fuel. 
This is about thinking ahead and being prepared. Work with your suppliers and your processor and plan today. Stay connected with the latest, visit our website regularly. 
If you need help get in touch with RST on 0800787254 or the IWG on 0800farming.
Chris Lewis
National Board member
Federated Farmers
[email protected]
Julie Geange
Manager Industry Support and Adverse Events
021 158 0424
[email protected]