An Australian decision to ban imports of tamarillos from New Zealand has angered farmers across the Tasman.
The farmers say there is no proof the fruit has been infected by a new bacterium.
New Zealand stopped exporting fresh tomatoes and capsicums early this month when the bacterium was found in three commercial hothouses near Auckland.
Farmers say tamarillos (also known as tree tomatoes) are not affected, but New Zealand’s Biosecurity Minister Jim Anderton understands Australia’s concern.
“While it’s true that we don’t have evidence that tamarillos are infected, we don’t have evidence that they are not,” he said.
Tests are being carried out on tamarillo crops throughout the country.
The New Zealand government says if they come back clear, Australia should lift the ban.
For further information contact:
New Zealand’s Biosecurity Minister