The Board of Plant Health Australia learnt more about grape and wine biosecurity during a visit to South Australian in September.

Vinehealth Australia was given the opportunity to share information about major grape and wine biosecurity challenges during a meeting at Pikes in Clare, and show Board members some famous wine industry hospitality.

Lucy O’Brien, General Manager of Clare Valley Wine and Grape Association, started the session with an overview of the Clare region and its new strategic plan.

Suzanne McLoughlin, Vinehealth Australia’s Technical Manager, talked in depth on five biosecurity challenges that Vinehealth is converting into opportunities. These challenges and opportunities included:

  1. Ongoing need for a cohesive focus on biosecurity in the wine industry and importance of the new national wine biosecurity committee;
  2. Maintaining currency and efficacy of state plant quarantine standards and the work Vinehealth has undertaken with industry and Biosecurity SA on the SA Plant Quarantine Standard review;
  3. Improving capability and capacity to respond to an incursion and Vinehealth’s work with simulations and improving the state Phylloxera Outbreak Plan with Biosecurity SA;
  4. Maintaining awareness of biosecurity as a risk and the importance of producing relevant and timely communications across multiple platforms; and
  5. Converting awareness into action to address complacency across the supply chain by understanding and measuring the on-ground issues and providing tailored solutions.

Over a glass of wine, Andrew Pike, Director at Pikes, wrapped up the session by sharing the history of the Pikes family brand and their grapegrowing and winemaking philosophies. This gave the Board a great insight into how wine tourism offerings are adapting to a changing marketplace and the intricacies of grape and wine production in Clare.

“The morning saw considerable interaction with Board members posing insightful questions and we were really pleased that Vinehealth had the opportunity to host the session and put the wine industry in the spotlight,” said Suzanne.

Vinehealth sincerely thanks Andrew Pike and the team at Pikes as well as Lucy O’Brien for making this visit a success.

Plant Health Australia, funded through subscription-based membership, is the national coordinator of the government-industry partnership for plant biosecurity in Australia, aimed at minimising pest impacts on Australia, enhancing market access and contributing to industry and community sustainability.