National Fruit Fly Strategy

The National Fruit Fly Strategy (NFFS) is an initiative aimed at improving Australia’s management of fruit fly, the world’s most economically significant horticultural pest. Sustainable management of fruit fly is of central concern to Australia’s horticultural industries, which capitalise on both domestic and international trade.

The NFFS aims to develop a viable, cost-effective and sustainable national approach to fruit fly management, with commitment from all stakeholders. The strategy applies to all endemic and non-endemic species of fruit fly across the contemporary biosecurity continuum, from pre-border to farm level.

NFFS Fact Sheet Download the strategy

The development of the NFFS was the result of a collaborative effort by Australia’s horticultural industries, state and territory governments, the Australian Government, Horticulture Australia Limited (now Horticulture Innovation Australia) and various research institutions. Plant Health Australia (PHA) facilitated and supported the development of the NFFS, which began in 2006 and culminated in the report’s release in January 2008.

The objectives of the NFFS are to:

  • Reduce the risk of fruit fly incursions from overseas and the spread of fruit flies within Australia.
  • To optimise early detection and response to exotic fruit flies.
  • to manage endemic fruit flies through effective and efficient use of tools, technology and people to support trade and sustainable production.
  • To raise awareness of the importance of biosecurity and specifically fruit flies and to encourage growers, industries, governments and the community to work collaboratively.
  • To develop an intelligence network that will allow fruit fly risks to be identified, targeted and managed.

Before the NFFS was developed, Australia already had a history of taking a proactive approach to managing fruit flies. A 1991 report by the Horticultural Policy Council titled The Impact of Fruit Flies on Australian Horticulture, but colloquially known as the Bateman Report after its author, set out key recommendations for the future management of fruit flies. The report’s recommendations were acted up and as a result there were many gains for Australian horticultural industries, including new trading opportunities and coordinated efforts between state governments.

By 2006, stakeholders in fruit fly management determined it was the right time to develop a renewed national approach, prompted in part by the increasing emphasis on phytosanitary measures in international trade, a growth in horticultural production areas that increased the cost of fruit fly management, and the threat of withdrawals of certain agricultural chemicals. Collectively, the governments of New South Wales, South Australia, and Victoria approached PHA’s then CEO, Ms Lindy Hyam, to lead the development of a national strategy. Following approval by PHA’s Board, Professor Nail Nairn was appointed to chair the NFFS Steering Committee.

Work on the NFFS progressed over an 18 month period and included efforts by four subgroups working within their fields of expertise – Market Access and Biosecurity, Operations, Legislation and Regulation, and Research and Development. These four subgroups collectively developed the 20 recommendations that comprise the NFFS.

Monitoring and driving porgress of the NFFS is a task that has been assigned to the National Fruit Fly Council, a group of representatives from industry, governments and research funding bodies.

Read more about the National Fruit Fly Council

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