Fruit Fly Operational Agreement Signed
Today history has been made with the signing of the first Operational Agreement under biosecurity Government Industry Agreements. This first agreement is for the four most common fruit fly that affect our ability to export fresh fruit. None of these fruit fly are found in New Zealand. On occasion one or more fruit flies are found and this operational agreement established the processes for managing finds of fruit fly, preparing to deal with fruit flies and the border controls.
The signatories were the kiwifruit, pipfruit, avocado and citrus industry and the government. Before an operational agreement can be signed the signatories had to first commit to the biosecurity Government Industry Agreements Deed. Once the deed is signed then operational agreements can be made dealing with the management of specific pests and diseases. It is a two-step process.
Biosecurity is the number one issue that concerns growers. It is the Minister for Primary Industries’ number one priority as well. The idea with the biosecurity GIAs is to strengthen the partnership between industry and government so that growers, the government and New Zealand get a much better biosecurity system. The entire biosecurity system benefits from this active partnership: pre-border, at the border, monitoring for pests being found in NZ, preparing to deal with any pests and finally responding to hopefully eradicate the pest.
The cost of entering into the Operational Agreement means that growers end up contributing resources and money to improve the biosecurity system. In return they, through their industry associations, get a say in how biosecurity is managed. Even before this agreement was signed, there has been increased co-operation between the horticulture industry and government working to achieve better outcomes.
Horticulture New Zealand welcomes the signing of this agreement as a positive step forward for managing biosecurity threats and in result protecting our valuable exports of fresh fruit and vegetables now worth nearly $5 billion a year to New Zealand
- Mike Chapman, CEO