Wineries rejecting winegrapes at delivery, while a very uncommon activity, may be a factor in vintage 2024 given the current fruit fly outbreaks in the Riverland. We share the following advice from PIRSA on the actions you need to undertake to minimise the risk of introducing and spreading fruit fly out of affected areas.
A declared Pest Free Area, such as the Riverland Pest Free Area, is partly maintained through the application of movement restrictions of fruit fly host material into the Area. With the current fruit fly outbreaks inside this Pest Free Area, there is another level of management for fruit fly host produce leaving the Fruit Fly Affected Area.
Winegrape rejection and management thereafter may take two forms:
- Returning a rejected load to the vineyard of origin, for example where all or part of the load is contaminated with hydraulic oil.
- Reconsigning a rejected load to another winery for processing, for example where specific quality specifications are not met.
Where fruit fly is concerned, the focus with these types of rejections is on consignment traceability, and waste management at the vineyard.
If there is an opportunity to crush a load instead of returning it to the origin vineyard, that is always the preferred method of management from a fruit fly perspective. This is because winegrapes are only a fruit fly host as whole berries, not once crushed. Therefore, application of any mechanism to crush whole berries at the receival site, is always the preferred method of minimising fruit fly risk.
For returning a rejected load back to the vineyard of origin, the following must occur:
- Rejection note: winery rejecting the load is to provide the carrier with a rejection note.
- Secure movement: The load must leave the winery under secure movement. This means the load is consigned to prevent spillage ─ e.g., bins/bulk truck are not filled above 200mm from the top edge, or the load is securely covered using a tarpaulin, shade cloth, bin cover, or contained within a covered vehicle.
- Traceability: the returning load must be accompanied by the rejection note AND the original biosecurity document (e.g., a Plant Health Assurance Certificate (PHAC), a Chief Inspectors Movement Certificate, an Inspectors Direction Certificate).
- PHAC to be cancelled by ICA-33 accredited business: if the biosecurity document accompanying the rejected load is a PHAC, this certificate is to be cancelled by the vineyard upon return of the rejected load and the cancelled certificate noted in the Record of Produce Receipt.
- Waste management: if the grapes are from a vineyard in an Outbreak Area only, waste management practices may be applied to the property. Where deep burial of the rejected grapes at the origin vineyard is not possible, treat by spreading the grapes out on the ground as much as possible, and drive over the grapes with a machine to crush remaining whole berries to aid the desiccation process. Leave the grape material spread out in the heat and sunlight until well desiccated, prior to moving. Alternatively, contact PIRSA to discuss other waste management options.
Other important notes:
- Where a load is consigned under ICA-33, accompanied by a PHAC, every scenario for managing the return of a rejected load pertaining to fruit fly is possible and can be facilitated in a timely manner. This includes managing rejections where interstate movements are involved. For returning loads back interstate that have been rejected by a South Australian winery, it is recommended that you contact the relevant interstate biosecurity department prior to vintage, to verify the requirements should this scenario occur during vintage.
- If South Australian winegrapes are consigned interstate for processing at a winery located inside a Phylloxera Infested Zone or Phylloxera Risk Zone and are rejected at the interstate winery, it is unlikely that these grapes could be returned to the South Australian vineyard as they would be treated according to importing requirements into the state from these areas which are prohibited under Condition 7 of the Plant Quarantine Standard South Australia.
For reconsigning a rejected load to another winery, the following must occur:
This action is only possible where the load is consigned under ICA-33 and is accompanied by a PHAC. There are two options for undertaking the reconsignment:
- Consignment reconsigned by PHAC amended: the ‘Reconsigned To’ section of the original PHAC (yellow copy) is amended with the details of the second winery to receive the winegrape load. NOTE: This action is only permitted to be undertaken by an ICA-17 accredited business. It is an offence under the Plant Health Act 2009 for any other person to amend a Plant Health Assurance Certificate.
- PHAC reissued: After the grapes have been returned to the vineyard, the ICA-33 accredited business that issued the original PHAC, cancels the original PHAC and reissues a new PHAC with the second receiving winery’s details to which the fruit is now being consigned.
As above, the reconsigned load when leaving the first winery, must also be:
- Moved under secure movement; and
- Accompanied by the reissued or amended PHAC, and a rejection note issued by the first receiving winery if reconsigned under option 1 directly above.