Our CEO Inca Pearce is often asked to speak at industry events about biosecurity. A recent speech at the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia’s Industry Briefing is receiving widespread support and attention.

Inca covered grower attitudes to farm-gate hygiene, pest and disease threats to grapes and wine, the increasing pathways for pests to enter Australia, recent incursions (and close calls) that have impacted on the wine industry, what an outbreak of phylloxera in SA would look like, what’s at stake, and what we need to do to safeguard our vines.

“Every year for the past three years, Australia has recorded about 30,000 interceptions at our national border – these include plants, animals, seeds and invertebrates that are being picked up on people, in cargo and in airfreight. This annual interception rate has increased by 30% as compared to that of a decade prior,” Inca said.

“And the number of biosecurity incidents post border considered by Australia’s emergency plant pest response group has increased by 65% over the last seven years. The pressure is certainly mounting.

Inca said the Australian wine industry must step up its biosecurity preparedness and operations in order to meet future demands for Australian wine.

“If we want to be able to supply our wine markets and keep pace with growth, we need healthy, productive vineyards and continuity of supply. We need to look up and scan the horizon for potential pest threats. We need to regularly review with government import conditions and biosecurity systems at the national and state borders in light of changing risks,” Inca said.

“And we need better adoption of farm-gate hygiene systems by vineyard owners to prevent spread of existing pests and diseases.

Continued investment is needed in biosecurity by all risk creators and beneficiaries along the supply chain – from germplasm to consumer. And strong leadership and ownership of biosecurity for our industry is key to our success. We must act now.”

To read a full transcript of Inca’s speech, click here. If you need more information about setting up farm-gate hygiene systems at your property, phone Vinehealth Australia on (08) 8273 0550 or email admin@vinehealth.com.au