First-hand experience of pests and diseases in Italy focus of KiwiNet meeting

06 August 2020

KVH ran its six monthly KiwiNet workshop yesterday, with around 70 people from across the kiwifruit industry attending the day’s presentations.

The second KiwiNet workshop of 2020 included a special session with Craig Thompson (recent Zespri Global Supply Manager for Europe and current Zespri Representative on the KVH Board) about high-profile biosecurity threats in Italy. Craig has been on the frontline with Italian growers, postharvest, and scientists trying to combat Psa, Moria disease, and BMSB - all pests and diseases we're working to keep out of New Zealand.

During his presentation, Craig talked about the challenges growers face on-orchard related to not only orchard hygiene but also climactic conditions and rules and regulations from differing bodies across the sector and country. He highlighted the importance of co-ordination and cohesion in a response between growers, industry bodies and government, so that as much as possible can be done to limit impacts and so there is clear joint focus on risks and risk pathways.

The workshop also provided attendees with an interesting and practical look at the importance of biosecurity readiness, using COVID-19 and the Mycoplasma bovis response as examples that come with huge challenges; and KVH ran group exercises on some key elements of the proposed new Pathway Management Plan to ensure the proposed approach lands the right balance between risk management and ease of implementation for the industry. KVH will be consulting on this proposal from mid-September.

You can view PowerPoint presentations from the day on the KVH website here.