"90,000 new crates to fight tomato diseases"

Tomatoes NZ, the industry body of the New Zealand tomato industry, had a meeting with PACT Group (owner of Viscount FCC) in early November to discuss concerns raised by growers on crate supply and to gain a better understanding of their crate cleaning process to help avoid spread of diseases such as PepMV (Pepino Mosaic Virus).

The team was reassured that they are fully aware of the situation and working hard to improve supply. They have 90,000 new crates due to start arriving from early December and they will be aiming to get these crates fed into the supply circuit as soon as possible.

They also take crate cleaning very seriously and are open to feedback so they can trace any issues in this area. They have improved their crate washing process quite substantially over the past few months and will soon trial a new steam cleaning unit in their Auckland plant.
They did raise some concern that growers may be overordering crates to ensure they had enough supply on hand for orders. This creates a vicious circle when crates are tight and they do request that growers work closely with them to only order what they need.

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