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South Australian authorities rethinking imports

Fruit fly spike in Queensland mangoes

South Australian authorities are reviewing import entry requirements for mangoes after a spate of Queensland fruit fly incursions over summer. Queensland fruit flies destroy an estimated $300 million dollars of fruit and vegetable crops every year.

A trade ban has been lifted on one far north Queensland mango farm, after an investigation revealed hail damage was the most likely cause of the breach. However, there are investigations continuing around three other separate incidences since December.

Queensland's general manager of Plant Biosecurity Mike Ashton admitted the spike of detections in South Australia had surprised authorities; it reinforced the need for mango growers to remain vigilant. He said it was too soon to know the cause of the outbreaks, which resulted in more than 10,000 trays of mangoes to be recalled. "It might be a seasonal thing and levels will drop back to normal next year. So, we'll just have to wait and see what the reaction of South Australia is."

According to abc.net, up until December, only four Queensland fruit fly cases had been found since 2013, with the introduction 15 years ago of pre-harvest treatments for all mangoes destined for 'fruit fly-free' markets being credited for the extremely low rate.

As South Australia is the only mainland state which remains fruit fly-free in the country, authorities in SA have also asked all fruit importers to step up their checks and are also reviewing the protocols under which Queensland farmers can export mangoes to SA.

If SA decides to introduce additional protections after the review, it could mean more work for Queensland farmers to prove their produce is clean.

Publication date: 1/30/2018


 


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