NSW part of $5m fruit export plan

28 Jun 2018

NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) is contributing to a new national plan to help open domestic and export market opportunities to local cherry and citrus producers.

The four-year, $5 million scheme to strengthen evidence of pest control measures has been funded by Hort Innovation, NSW DPI and research partners, including project leader CSIRO.

NSW DPI biosecurity officer, Lloyd Kingham, said the project aims to develop new protocols which will help prevent and handle risks across the supply chain.

“Working with Local Land Services, we are monitoring citrus orchards in Griffith and cherry orchards in Batlow, Young and Orange so we can confidently set limits relating to the risk of Queensland fruit fly (Qfly),” Mr Kingham said.

“This new systems approach builds on the successful protocols we have developed for Asian markets, which gives growers more options to meet domestic market access requirements.

“These protocols will require regular testing and maintenance of records as researchers, industry and regulators work together to fortify the system.”

Mr Kingham said maintaining areas free from Qfly and other pests is a significant path for producers to access domestic and international markets.

“A range of on-farm activities, including pest management, inspection and grading of produce, post-harvest treatments and cool storage are widely used to manage quarantine pests and meet market expectations,” he said.

“This project will deliver the science required to underpin the stringent pest management practices used by local growers.

“We aim to document and clearly demonstrate we are maintaining fruit quality and satisfying biosecurity requirements of domestic and export trade.”

Once finalised, the systems approach protocols will be supplied to the NSW and Australian Governments to support interstate and international negotiations.

The Western Australian Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Agriculture Victoria, industry groups and growers are all part of the collaborative project.

Media contact: Bernadette York 0427 773 785