Welcome to 2023! We have some exciting events planned in the lead up to our important biennial National Fruit Fly Symposium where we will convene from 20-21 July 2023 at the National Wine Centre in Adelaide, South Australia. This is the first face-to-face symposium since the fruit fly system community last gathered in 2018. Save the date and watch this space for more information.
In 2022, the National Fruit Fly Council (NFFC) undertook numerous important initiatives to enhance our capacity to reduce the risk of exotic fruit fly incursions and to ensure the effective and efficient management of established fruit fly species. We explored fruit fly distribution through the hypothetical exercise ‘Crossing the invisible line’ and looked at how creating an even stronger system could minimise potential disruptions and future proof pathways to trade. During the year, the NFFC finalised a new structure with its Executive Committee and initiated fruit fly research working groups and fruit fly management ‘toolbox’ task groups.
2022 also saw the culmination of the significant research body of work within the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) Plus program funded through Hort Innovation and its various partners. Extending and commercialising the benefits and major advances achieved through this program will be a key focus for 2023 and beyond.
2023 ushers in a range of exciting activities starting with our National Fruit Fly ‘Think Tank’ series of webinars, covering our strategic priority issues in the lead up to the National Fruit Fly Symposium in July. These monthly webinars will commence in March and run until June.
The aim of the Think Tank Series is to provide a preview of topics and discussions for the July symposium by facilitating discussion and feedback from industry, government and research representatives to inform and shape the symposium program and build on our plans for the future of fruit fly management.
The 2023 National Fruit Fly Symposium themed ‘The view over the horizon’, will take stock of progress against the National Fruit Fly Strategy to-date and build a collective view of future opportunities. The two-day symposium will provide an opportunity to both listen, engage and contribute to our collective fruit fly future. Day one will explore the fruit fly system and the all-important trade implications and opportunities. Day two will comprise a series of workshops around issues including Area Wide Management and SIT, systems-based approaches, as well as extension and engagement, including social research. These workshops are designed to provide an update on past and current work, draw on successful and practical approaches, look at case studies both locally and internationally, and explore future opportunities and priorities to enable us to chart a path and identify the role of each component within the system (including the NFFC) and their function in ensuring we get there.
I look forward to catching up with you at various times throughout the year.
Manager, National Fruit Fly Council