Protecting the NZ citrus industry

Friday, 05 April, 2019

Protecting the NZ citrus industry

Biosecurity New Zealand and Citrus New Zealand will undertake a joint three-year program of work to better protect the citrus industry from biosecurity threats.

Both parties recently signed a Sector Operational Agreement for Readiness and Response under the Government-Industry Agreement (GIA) partnership, which will see them prepare for and respond to threats.

“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,” said Roger Smith, Head of Biosecurity NZ. “The pressure on our biosecurity system is increasing and we have to be better prepared for outbreaks.

They will agree and fund readiness activities to better prepare for incursions of pests and pathogens that are considered as high-priority threats to the citrus industry, such as huanglongbing (HLB), Asian citrus psyllid and citrus canker.

Citrus NZ represents 320 New Zealand citrus growers producing around 30,500 tonnes of lemons, mandarins, oranges, tangelos, grapefruit, limes and other hybrids annually.

“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,” Citrus NZ Chair Wayne Hall said. “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.”

Image credit: ©

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