×
Based on your current location, we selected the North America edition of FreshPlaza.com for you I want to remain in this edition
Please click one of the other regions below to switch to another edition.

world_map North America Latin America Oceania Africa Asia Europe



Announcements

Job offersmore »




Specialsmore »

Top 5 - yesterday

Top 5 - last week

Top 5 - last month

Exchange ratesmore »


Biosecurity fears due to Australian Department of Agriculture and Water staff cuts

Australian Horticultural Exporters and Importers Association chief executive Dominic Jenkin claims a staff increase at the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources is an “absolute priority” for horticulture to maintain import and export biosecurity.

He told weeklytimesnow.com the value of horticulture exports had risen 107% in the past five years, but the number of staff at the Department dropped by 7% in the same period.

This means the Department could not keep pace with anticipated growth in agricultural trade and the related import and export task. This led to the winding down of services including Offshore Pre-shipment Inspections. “Previously, we would have sent government inspectors off shore to inspect the fruit before it arrives,” said Jenkin. “But recently, due to staffing caps, they have been reducing staff to cost-recovered projects.”

Mr Jenkins cited produce from New Zealand and the US, which would once have been inspected before it left, and if a pest was found the shipment could be sent to another market or used domestically. “Now these pre-shipment inspections are being wound down; inspections are done in Australia, where it would be costly to re-route and it might have to be fumigated, destroyed or reconditioned.”

A Department spokesman said offshore pre-shipment inspection was only one means of verifying produce met Australia’s import conditions and was only offered to certain commodities from two countries. “The majority of horticultural fresh pathways are not inspected under OPI.”

Publication date: 1/11/2018


 


Receive the daily newsletter in your email for free | Click here


 

Other news in this sector: