Summerfruit growers are aware that fruit flies are a serious pest for a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, potentially causing millions of dollars of losses worldwide. Fortunately, New Zealand is free from the economically significant fruit flies, which means that our fresh produce can be certified as free of this pest when exported. However, if a single fruit fly is detected in New Zealand, it can cause massive economic damage to New Zealand’s horticulture produce and trade.
New Zealand has had several fruit fly responses over the past few decades. Due to these fruit fly responses, the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and New Zealand’s horticulture industry has agreed to develop the MPI Fruit Fly Official Assurance Programme (OAP) document. The programme sets the requirements and provides guidance for our industry to export fresh produce in the event of fruit fly detection(s) in New Zealand. The programme aims to minimise trade disruptions and provide confidence to our trading partners that New Zealand has contingency measures against fruit flies.
MPI’s Plant Export team and the horticulture industry have continuously engaged to revise the fruit fly OAP document. As a result of their collaboration and effort, the fruit fly OAP was published on the MPI website in March 2021. Following the publication of the OAP, the next stage is to ensure that industry stakeholders understand the requirements and guidance provided in this document. Therefore, in the upcoming months, the Plant Exports team intends to organise a series of face-to-face and virtual workshops across the key horticulture regions and potential fruit fly incursion hot spots in New Zealand.
Anyone interested in attending one of these workshops are welcome to contact MPI by emailing PlantExports@mpi.govt.nz
Summerfruit NZ will keep growers and exporters informed on the implementation of this OAP as soon as it becomes available.