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Ed Sheeran

Wakatu takes Covid care to get harvest in
Photo: Wakatu Incorporation.

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The chair of one of the largest Māori food producers is relieved its food and beverage businesses can continue to operate through the Covid-19 lockdown.

The country moves into level 4 alert status at midnight, meaning only essential services can keep working.

Primary industries, including food and beverage production and processing, have been deemed essential.

Paul Morgan says Wakatu Incorporation, which has extensive horticulture and viticulture operations at the top of the South Island, has been working on plans to keep its workers employed and safe.

He says the next eight weeks are critical for getting in the harvest.

"We’ve got many people outside which is a safer environment, providing they have the physical distance between them. We have a comprehensive pandemic plan. Our managers have got certain expectations. We're communicating to our employees about hygiene, physical distance and not grouping together in their work processes," he says.

Wakatu last week closed access for non-workers to all its buildings and worksites, closed its camping sites, and also cancelled its special general meeting which was to be held this Saturday at Te Papa in Wellington.

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