The National Fruit Fly Strategy 2020–2025 (NFFS) has been developed by the National Fruit Fly Council (NFFC) to provide a framework for ongoing stakeholder cooperation to support a contemporary, viable, cost-effective and coordinated national approach to fruit fly management. The NFFS applies to all endemic and non-endemic species of fruit fly.

The strategic objectives of the 2020–25 NFFS are to:

  • maintain Australia’s freedom from exotic fruit fly.
  • minimise the incidence and spread of fruit fly.
  • implement national systems that support market access.
  • facilitate a cooperative and committed national approach to fruit fly management.


The Implementation Plan for 2023-24 brings together key fruit fly activities, reflecting shared goals as supported by stakeholders as outlined in the NFFS. The NFFC will use this plan as a framework for tracking progress, identifying any gaps that may exist in the national system and educating stake holders and decision makers on significant findings.

The Council prepares a formal report against each annual implementation plan to be used as a basis to review progress against the NFFS Strategic Framework and to identify priorities for the financial year ahead.

The Implementation Report for the 2022-23 summarises progress and achievements from 1 July 2022 to 30 June 2023

The Council meets on a 6 monthly basis with key delivery partners to update the status of projects within the Implementation Plan and identify any areas requiring additional focus and resourcing.

The Council also acknowledges the invaluable contributions made by so many stakeholders in managing our national fruit fly system.

2024 Priorities

In 2021 the NFFC identified priorities to strengthen the national fruit fly system.

These priorities are the culmination of stakeholder interactions and input over the past two years. The NFFC will review these priorities annually.

The NFFC priorities comprise three key fundamental areas: market access and biosecurity, on-farm management, and supporting the national system.

The key fundamental areas are designed to increase awareness of the critical areas identified by the NFFC as ongoing and vital priorities for strengthening the national fruit fly system.

Market Access

Australia’s robust domestic and international biosecurity defence systems are vital for supporting market access for fruit fly-affected industries.

These systems need to reflect internationally accepted standards and protocols, uphold risk management principles, as well as being transparent and scientifically supported to maintain confidence among domestic and international trading partners.

To achieve this, it is essential that fruit fly policy, legislation and operations meet market access needs and are continuously reviewed and improved.

Developing a framework of policy, legislation and operations that enables market access with the least trade restrictive measures that are both legally enforceable and scientifically justified.

This priority area will be achieved through activities that include:

  1. Championing approaches that underpin market access, such as alignment with international standards and adherence to phytosanitary arrangements along the supply chain.
  2. Focusing research and development to deliver market access goals that are technically justified.
  3. Negotiating international market access protocols that recognise the range of Australia’s differing fruit fly statuses and provide different, workable and economical options to producers.
  4. Monitoring the integrity of the fruit fly system to provide national assurance of the effectiveness of management measures.
  5. Harmonising and refining interstate measures, regulations and certification systems, consistent with Australia’s international trade requirements.

Management of Established Fruit Fly

If we can better understand established fruit flies, we can improve our tools and control methods for managing them. It is essential that both gardeners and farmers have a range of suitable management options available to them.

These options must be economical, supported by evidence and reliable systems.

Build and promote efficient and effective methods to manage established fruit fly species, to reduce the impact on crop production and to facilitate trade access to sensitive markets.

  1. Improving our understanding of the physiological, behavioural and ecological processes relating to a wide range of fruit fly species, particularly for Qfly and Medfly.
  2. Establishing in-field control measures that reduce fruit fly numbers and improve crop protection, whether based on existing tools or emerging strategies such as the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) or systems based approaches.
  3. Supporting initiatives that seek to improve area wide management of fruit fly.
  4. Assessing the feasibility, practicality and cost-effectiveness of eradicating Medfly from Australia.
  5. Implementing changes to current or future fruit fly control measures to help manage the impact of climate change on the potential distribution and abundance of fruit fly species in Australia.

Prevention, Preparedness and Response

Australia works hard to keep exotic fruit flies out of the country and to minimise the spread of established fruit flies into pest-free areas.

Understanding fruit fly characteristics and risk pathways can help design detection and control measures to manage incursions and prevent fruit fly spread.

Governments, industries and communities also have a role to play in preparing for potential risks, including planning for fruit fly incursions and business continuity. We can all benefit from investments that prioritise Australia’s fruit fly management system.

Continue to support the development and resourcing of prevention, preparedness and response measures for incursions or outbreaks.

  1. Maintaining and monitoring market access requirements and pre-border and border mechanisms that serve to prevent the entry of exotic fruit flies.
  2. Supporting efforts to reduce the overall occurrence of, and prevent the spread of, established fruit flies into pest free areas in Australia.
  3. Promoting intelligence collection and analysis to help inform fruit fly management, prevention and preparedness activities.
  4. Supporting contingency planning as a vehicle for linking industry preparedness with national fruit fly management and response strategies.
  5. Promoting the responsibilities of communities and industries, along the whole supply chain, in preventing fruit fly spread and preparing for fruit fly incursions or outbreaks.
  6. Ensuring enough capacity and capability is available to deliver timely, effective and coordinated controls for emergency responses to exotic incursions and outbreaks of established fruit flies in pest free areas.


Research development, and extension activities are essential to the following elements of fruit fly management.

  • Operations
  • Legislation
  • Regulation
  • Market access
  • Biosecurity
  • Improvements in management practices.

Research allows us to curate the best approach and develop creative solutions that integrate the market and sustainable production. It is essential that throughout this process, capability and capacity is maintained with research development and extension prioritised, coordinated and strengthened through national and international research linkages.

Maintain and enhance fruit fly research capability, capacity and resources, pursuing research and extension that focus on nationally agreed priorities.

  1. Promoting long-term, coordinated investment in research that aligns with national strategic priorities.
  2. Fostering strong partnerships between regulators, research funders, researchers, industry and end-users to identify and support both immediate and anticipated research needs.
  3. Encouraging exchanges, linkages and cooperation among different research sectors to minimise research duplication and maximise the benefits of a collaboration.
  4. Fostering scientific and technical skills, expertise and knowledge available for research and development.
  5. Sharing research and development outputs with end-users and integrating knowledge into government and industry practices.


This powerful first line of defence ensures that we have early detection of fruit fly pests and manage that area accordingly. This plays a vital role when implementing a rapid response and access to markets. While surveillance must be done in accordance with agreed standards and protocols, it is also increasingly important that it is efficient, effective and able to harness information from both specific (programs to formally demonstrate pest presence or absence) and general (drawn from various government or non-government) sources.

Ensure a nationally consistent surveillance framework that clarifies fruit fly distribution, prevalence and control.

  1. Facilitating a national approach to fruit fly surveillance systems that is based on science, risk analysis, international standards and best practice.
  2. Regularly reviewing and improving methodologies to maximise the ability to detect exotic species whilst ensuring surveillance systems are managed in a cost-effective manner.
  3. Minimising the risk of establishment of exotic fruit flies through contingency planning for eradication.
  4. Formalising commitment to the national exotic fruit fly detection system through long-term funding agreements.
  5. Developing and promoting the use of sampling and survey data collection methods that are technically justified, and enable information to be collated, analysed and reported.
  6. Identifying ways to capture data from the general surveillance network to improve detection capacity.


The eradication of fruit flies depends on how quickly and accurately we can identify fruit flies in an area. Any tools and materials that can be used to speed up this process are essential alongside a high level of trust in their diagnostic abilities. Accurate diagnostics are  is fundamental to national assurance of area freedom.

Maintain and enhance accurate and rapid diagnostic capability and capacity to support responses to incursions or outbreaks and to confirm area freedom.

  1. Facilitating a national approach to diagnostic capacity and capability through networks, training, formally recognised protocols and reference materials.
  2. Continuing to develop diagnostic platforms and tools that streamline and facilitate identification of fruit flies.
  3. Resolving taxonomically problematic species complexes.
  4. Developing diagnostic methods to understand genetic relationships and geographic origins of invasive populations to enable identification of high-risk pathways.
  5. Promoting the value of diagnostic services to stakeholders, to gain a higher level of investment in essential infrastructure, expertise, and research.

Communication and Engagement

Communication and a consistent exchange of information are critical to a cohesive fruit fly management plan. It not only improves the quality of decision-making but ensures stakeholders at all levels are equipped to manage fruit fly challenges. Reliable and up-to-date information is also instrumental in maintaining or enhancing industry competitiveness. By improving the flow of information across all industries, we can continue approaching the fruit fly crisis with innovation and shared outcomes. This will also flow into those who benefit from fruit fly management systems, including consumers, wholesalers, retailers, exporters, importers, transport operators and treatment providers.

Adopt systems and mechanisms for the efficient and effective communication, training, extension and adoption of fruit fly information by a broad range of audiences.

This priority area will be achieved through activities that include:

  1. Developing a communication and engagement strategy for the National Fruit Fly Strategy 2020–25, including roles and responsibilities of stakeholders.
  2. Raising awareness of the various processes and components of the national fruit fly system that serve to maintain and gain market access.
  3. Promoting the roles and responsibilities of all stakeholders in upholding the integrity of the national fruit fly system.
  4. Utilising existing systems to exchange up-to-date information on fruit fly management issues between governments, industries, regions and communities.
  5. Encouraging adoption of area wide management approaches, including through applying relevant social
    research outcomes.


The fruit fly issue  is something that can only be overcome with cohesion. Industry, government, researchers and community forums need to work in harmony to raise awareness of fruit fly issues, determine priorities, direct and provide resources and monitor progress. A coordinated national system approach across disciplines and geographic boundaries means we can achieve shared goals, support each other and protect our national interests.

Maintain and enhance engagement processes that serve to coordinate, progress and improve fruit fly management systems.

This priority area will be achieved through activities that include:

  1. Strengthening the partnership between the National Fruit Fly Council and regulatory and research decision-makers, including Plant Health Committee, Hort Innovation, peak industry groups and other relevant stakeholders.
  2. Improving the two-way flow of information and engagement between governments, industries, researchers and communities to better identify and address fruit fly challenges and opportunities.
  3. Building sustainable funding models to support fruit fly management activities that are critical to the national system.
  4. Collaborating with stakeholders to prioritise activities and monitor progress against the strategy.
  5. Adequately resourcing and empowering the National Fruit Fly Council to monitor and drive implementation of the strategy.