Fruit flies pose a serious threat to Australia’s billion-dollar horticultural industry.
According to the 2020/21 Australian Horticulture Statistics Handbook, Australia’s horticultural production is valued at over $15.2 billion with around $6 billion of this potentially affected by fruit flies.
Australia is also a net exporter of fresh fruit and vegetables, with approximately $1 billion of these exports potentially impacted by fruit flies.
Our first line of defence against fruit flies is Australia’s biosecurity system. Regions that import fresh fruit and vegetables impose biosecurity conditions to effectively manage the risk.
While Australia has a reputation for some of the best and cleanest commodities, an importing state or country might ask that imported fruits and vegetables be treated. Given the importance of fruit flies as pests, these measures can be particularly rigorous. The requirements that must be met for commodities to be accepted for import into specific overseas countries is set out in the Manual of Importing Country Requirements (MICoR).