New Zealand organisations team-up to protect citrus industry

New Zealand organisations team-up to protect citrus industry
Credit: Shutterstock.com/ Tim UR

Biosecurity New Zealand and Citrus New Zealand have signed an agreement to protect the citrus industry from biosecurity threats.

The two organisations have signed a Sector Operational Agreement for Readiness and Response under the Government-Industry Agreement (GIA) partnership.

Now they will undertake a joint three-year programme of work to better protect the nation’s citrus industry.

“The GIA partnership enables us to work alongside industry to better understand the risks, and how we might deal with them if they reach our shores,” says Roger Smith, head of Biosecurity New Zealand.

“The pressure on our biosecurity system is increasing and we have to be better prepared for outbreaks.”

Under the agreement, Biosecurity New Zealand and Citrus New Zealand will jointly agree and fund readiness activities to improve preparedness for incursions of pests and pathogens that are considered a major concern to the citrus industry.

Chair of Citrus New Zealand, Wayne Hall, says: “This agreement gives our relatively small sector the opportunity to take action to minimise the risks from diseases that could devastate our citrus production in New Zealand.

“It’s a big commitment for the industry but shows how seriously Citrus NZ takes our biosecurity to protect our orchards and continue to provide domestic and export customers with great tasting fresh New Zealand citrus.”

The agreement will cover preparing for and responding to incursions of huanglongbing (HLB), Asian citrus psyllid and citrus canker.

These pests and pathogens have been identified as high priority by Citrus New Zealand and Biosecurity New Zealand. More pests and pathogens may be added over time.