Vinehealth Australia is working with UniSA on a footwear solution to assist in minimising pest, disease and weed introduction and spread in Australian vineyards.

For many years, Vinehealth Australia has been advocating for the wearing of shoe covers as an alternative to footwear disinfestation for low risk situations. But significant searching has revealed that a fit-for-purpose, sturdy, affordable option does not exist.

Stephanie Small, a UniSA Postgraduate student in Industrial Design, under the guidance of Andrew Whittaker, UniSA lecturer in Industrial Design/Product Design, will develop prototypes for a disposable footwear solution. The intention is to look towards commercialisation of one or more suitable, verified prototypes post the end of 2020.

“We provided a comprehensive brief to Stephanie outlining the current farm-gate hygiene options available for footwear and the issues we see with these options. We discussed the need for a new concept to accommodate variability in uses, product sustainability and other specifications we see as important to ensure suitability for field use,” said Vinehealth Australia Technical Manager Suzanne McLoughlin.

“We look forward to keeping you updated as the project progresses and asking for your input at certain times and hope to have at least one, if not a range of options available for use in due course.”

Vinehealth Australia would like to thank Board member Alex Sas for sharing our project brief with Andrew Whittaker.