Oral Presentation Science Protecting Plant Health 2017

Impact of fruit flies on international market access and what the scientific community can do to help (5010)

Craig Hull 1
  1. Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, Canberra, ACT, Australia

Fruit flies are the world’s most economically significant plant pests affecting horticulture, with a high economic impact on horticultural production, control costs and domestic and international market access. Consequently, sustainable management of fruit flies is of central concern to Australia’s horticultural industries.

Fruit flies impact all aspects of the Australian government’s pre-border, border and post-border biosecurity work related to the horticultural industries. The Australian Government’s role includes:

  • Contributing to international harmonisation of fruit fly management and treatment standards (including the coordination of research activities to support treatment standards and market access).
  • Communicating Australia’s claims of country freedom from exotic fruit fly species and regional status of endemic fruit flies.
  • Providing advice on the requirements for international market access, including fruit fly monitoring systems.
  • Negotiating appropriate treatment options that support Australian industries.
  • Working with state and territory governments, the horticulture industry and research institutions to identify priorities, research needs and coordination mechanisms to improve fruit fly management and support export aspirations.

The ability of the Australian government to negotiate international market access for fruit fly host commodities is dependent on having scientifically robust data and information across the production system, including pre-harvest management, post-harvest treatments and an understanding of biological, physiological and ecological aspects.  

The scientific community can play a key role not only in contributing to export ready data packages for market access negotiations, but also in communicating research in a manner that supports the Australian government’s role in international negotiations. The sensitivities associated with international market access and the potential mechanisms to improve coordination with the scientific community to deliver improved market access opportunities will be discussed.