An on-the-ground audit of Indonesia’s palm kernel supply chain shows it is meeting New Zealand’s strict biosecurity requirements for foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), says Biosecurity New Zealand deputy director-general Stuart Anderson.
Experts were sent to Indonesia to check that the palm kernel supply chain is meeting those requirements in light of the FMD outbreak in Indonesia.
The risk of Palm Kernel Extract (PKW) carrying FMD is low because of the heat processes used to produce it and there are strong import health standards in place for products coming from Indonesia, especially PKE, Mr Anderson said.
A virtual audit of Indonesia’s PKE supply chain last year showed producers were following New Zealand’s import health standards, but biosecurity officials wanted to carry out an on-the-ground-audit as an extra layer of assurance.
“Our people visited sites across the country, including a mix of production, storage and loading facilities. Our auditors were able to see all stages of supply chain and found that suppliers are meeting our strict import health standards,” Mr Anderson said.
Biosecurity New Zealand continues to closely monitor the situation in Indonesia and is in regular contact with Australian counterparts.
“We’ve provided personal protective equipment to Indonesia to conduct biosecurity measures, disinfectant, backpack sprayers and other tools to help on the ground. We’ve offered our technical expertise as well.”
New Zealand’s strict biosecurity measures for FMD were being regularly assessed as a result of the Indonesian outbreak, Mr Anderson said.
“Our frontline staff at the border are paying close attention to goods and any travellers arriving in the country with Indonesia as their point of departure.”
Mr Anderson said Biosecurity New Zealand was committed to maintaining vigilance against FMD.
He said its multi-layered biosecurity system includes risk assessment, visual inspections, X-ray screening, scanning technology, and detector dogs to prevent risk goods from being carried into New Zealand by travellers or arriving by mail.
All shipping containers and imported goods are assessed for biosecurity risk.
Source: Biosecurity New Zealand