Industry Operational Working Group for Fruit Fly Preparedness
As advised in the KVH Bulletin (24 April), the Plant Market Access Council (PMAC) including Zespri and KVH have been working on a project which aims to pre-emptively agree market access conditions with key markets in the event of future incursions of significant fruit fly species in New Zealand.
The project includes developing protocols which demonstrate how New Zealand will manage a fruit fly incursion and how exporters will therefore be able to reliably export fruit fly free product minimising any trade disruptions.
For trading partners to agree to these protocols, which if a breeding population of fruit fly is found would be based on cold disinfestation of fruit, the industry must be able to demonstrate their own procedures for implementing any agreed protocols.
Therefore, ISG has recently agreed to establish a small industry working group to identify and address associated operational issues.
The objectives for this working group will be to:
- Identify the key issues and the range of possible scenarios that need to be considered and planned for depending on what the nature of the fruit fly outbreak is, and what time of year it happens in.
- Develop a set of guidelines to assist individual post-harvest operators to develop their own documented quality management plan for approval by MPI should cold disinfestation of fruit be required by our markets.
- Discuss the guidelines with MPI for comment and agreement prior to publishing these to the wider industry.
It is essential for our industry to plan for what would need to be implemented, often at very short notice, in order to minimise market disruptions.
It’s important to note that while MPI are beginning the negotiations, it will likely take years for some countries to agree to these protocols.