Zero Strikes

Horticulture sector calls for zero tolerance extension

Horticulture CoalitionFollowing the announcement of a further two new outbreaks of Mediterranean fruit fly in metropolitan Adelaide, bringing 240 suburbs now under quarantine restrictions, the Horticultural Industry has called for an extension to the zero-tolerance policy to include the Ceduna quarantine station.

There are zero strikes and zero excuses for bringing fruit and vegetables into South Australia via the Yamba border crossing in the Riverland. The zero-tolerance approach on eastern borders has successfully reduced the risks of Queensland fruit fly coming into our State, however, with Mediterranean fruit fly coming from the West, the industry is supporting the Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development’s call for an expansion of zero tolerance to the Ceduna quarantine station.

Angelo Demasi, Chair of the Horticultural Coalition SA, said “Now more than ever, we need to be more vigilant and expand the zero-tolerance on produce entering all borders into the State. We will continue to work with Government and Industry to tighten these measures.”

“It is important that the community play their part to protect our state from dreadful impacts of fruit fly and be aware of regulations for home gardens and border controls.” Angelo Demasi said.

The horticultural industry is urging residents within the quarantine zone to comply with strict requirements and for the full enforcement of the zero-tolerance laws to be enforced on borders.

For all commercial consignments, it may be time to revisit a central inspection quarantine facility within operations such as the South Australian Produce Market for all produce coming into the State.

Susie Green, CEO, Apple & Pear Growers Association of SA is calling on the Government to bring in zero-tolerance at all borders and check points.

“Just one piece of maggot infested fruit, carelessly discarded by a traveler, can devastate an industry and also the community.” said Susie. “If fruit fly becomes established, home gardeners would have to get used to their fruit and vegetables being infested with maggots. In some areas interstate, the public are being encouraged to remove fruit trees from their gardens. This is not a pest that any of us want and we are already seeing the significant impact on thousands of households in metropolitan Adelaide caused by infested fruit being brought into the State.”

Angelo Demasi says “Fruit fly is the world’s most destructive and devastating pest for fruit and fruiting vegetable production. Tight border controls are essential in protecting South Australia’s $1.2 billion horticulture industry, as the pressure has never been greater.”

The sector consists of an estimated 3,500 small to medium sized businesses, employing around 13,500 permanent staff and an additional 24,000 seasonal staff.

Summerfruit SA Executive Officer, Mr Tim Grieger said industry groups fully support all measures introduced by the South Australian Government.

South Australia has a 100% success rate of eradicating fruit fly. With seven outbreaks now occurring in metropolitan Adelaide, PIRSA staff are on the ground in the outbreak areas applying bait to trees and picking up any fallen fruit off the ground.”

For further information, including detailed maps and further advice on quarantine restrictions in outbreak and suspension areas visit pir.sa.gov.au/fruitfly-outbreaks

ENDS

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Angelo Demasi, Chair, Horticulture Coalition of SA

Email: angelode@saproducemarket.com.au   Mob: 0417 835 340

Susie Green, CEO Apple and Pear Growers Association of SA – Mob: 0417 451 999

Tim Greiger, Summerfruit SA – Mob: 0409 099 122

Penny Reidy, Marketing Communications Manager, South Australian Produce Market

Email: penny@saproducemarket.com.au Mob: 0408 877 797

 

The Horticulture Coalition of SA is the peak industry organisation for horticulture in SA.

The horticulture industry is an important sector for South Australia, worth over $960 million at the farmgate, and over $3 billion in gross food revenue in 2016/17. The sector consists of an estimated 3,500 small to medium sized businesses, employing 13,500 permanent staff and an additional 24,000 seasonal staff.

The organisations which make up the Horticulture Coalition of SA are the:

  • Almond Board of Australia Ltd
  • Apple and Pear Growers Association of SA Inc
  • AUSVEG SA
  • Citrus Australia (SA Region)
  • HortEx Alliance Inc
  • Australian Mushroom Growers Association
  • Nursery and Garden Industry of SA Inc
  • Olives South Australia Inc
  • Onions Australia
  • Pistachio Growers’ Association Inc
  • SA Produce Market Ltd
  • South Australian Chamber of Fruit and Vegetable Industries
  • Summerfruit SA
  • Women in Horticulture

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