Australia issues risk analysis for NZ apples
Australia has issued a draft Import Risk Analysis, a step towards allowing imports of apples from New Zealand, according to a press release issued by Pipfruit New Zealand, Inc.
New Zealand has long sought access to the Australian market, which has been closed to its apples since 1921, after fireblight was discovered in New Zealand.
The World Trade Organization ruled last year that Australia’s import restrictions on New Zealand apples were unscientific and broke international trade rules. Biosecurity Australia was required to do a revised risk analysis, which was issued May 5. According to Peter Beaven, chief executive of Pipfruit New Zealand, there are not many more issues left to resolve before access should be granted.
The main protocols proposed in the new risk analysis involve:
- Proof that Integrated Fruit Production systems have been adhered to;
- Processes to ensure that apples are mature and have no symptoms of fireblight;
- Use of high-pressure water washers and appropriate sanitation in waterdumps in packing houses; and
- A standard inspection of 600 fruit per lot for actionable pests.
Pipfruit New Zealand is working with government officials and scientists to examine the risk analysis during the 60-day consultation period after the document was issued.
Beaven said per-capita apple consumption in Australia is less than half that of New Zealand. The New Zealand apple industry has offered to work with Australian growers to promote apple consumption in Australia and increase the market.