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COVID-19: Information for Horticultural Producers

24 March 2020
Type Media Article

HORTICULTURE: Teagasc Horticultural Development Department has compiled a document with information available from the relevant competent authorities and some suggestions for producers to consider in the coming weeks.

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Horticultural production is currently the fourth largest Agri-food sector in Ireland, employing a large number of people. As the primary production season for Irish fruits and vegetables is upon us, in the context of COVID-19, additional planning and risk assessment at the business level for every operator will be required. Teagasc Horticultural Development Department, in producing this short communication, aim to compile information available from the relevant competent authorities and also provide some suggestions for producers to consider in the  coming weeks.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that usually cause respiratory illness. COVID-19 is a new strain that has not previously been identified in humans. COVID-19 has already and is currently causing significant disruption to businesses. The European Food Safety Authority has stated that there is currently no evidence that food is a likely source or route of transmission of the coronavirus.

However, growers need to act to assess the impacts of COVID-19 and the associated national mitigation measures on their business and how best to prepare for the period ahead. The following communication has been compiled as a reference information source (as of 13/03/20) which may be of use to horticultural food producers. However given the frequently changing circumstances and governmental advice, please continue to check listed references for the most current advice.

Topics include:

  1. Employer and Employee Obligations
  2. Sick pay
  3. Continuity Planning
    1. Staff Management
    2. Risk Assessment
    3. Useful Links
    4. Teagasc Contact