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APAL call for collaboration as US imports working group gets busy

APAL’s US Apples Access working group is currently working steadfastly to submit a review of the scientific biosecurity threat posed by the proposed import of U.S apples into Australia. The group recently began a review of the 400–page report released by the Department Agriculture Water and Environment regarding the issue.

A range of technical experts and industry advisors including APAL’s Head of Government Relations Jeremy Griffith, Technical Manager Rose Daniel, biosecurity expert Kevin Clayton-Greene and APAL’s Head of Trade Jenny Van de Meeberg are leading the group. Also included are a number of growers including Scott Montague of Montague and APAL Directors Kevin Sanders and Chris Fairless.

The group is meeting once a week to discuss biosecurity risks and a strategic response to the report. Pests that could be brought into Australia as a result of the imports could also affect citrus, berry, cherry, vegetables, Greenlife and other industries. APAL has reached out to other industry bodies for their participation in the response to the report, and the opportunity to address the very valid concerns those industries are also likely to have in regards to the imports.

The pest disease fire blight caused by the bacterium Erwinia amylovora in particular has been a feared incursion for many years for Australian growers, given costs of managing the disease in Washington totalled $37 M and estimated losses in 2018 were $222M.

A submission on the report will be tabled by January 21, following a proper review and with all considerations taken into account. In the meantime, APAL has set up a dedicated US apple imports into Australia page to inform growers on the issue. This page will be updated regularly as more information comes to light on the issue of U.S apple imports in Australia, and should be your go-to location to access information on the matter.

The report and further information is available here. 

A reminder that feedback can be submitted on the report – click here to visit the Department’s consultation website and provide feedback.


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