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The Plant Health Australia (PHA) team attended the first planning workshop to support delivery of the $10 million Vegetable Industry Biosecurity and Business Continuity Strategy, in Melbourne in December.

The five-year program is being led by AUSVEG and will build the vegetable industry’s resilience to exotic pest threats through the creation of an industry-led biosecurity program that will strengthen pest surveillance, preparedness and management efforts.

The workshop brought together project partners including PHA, state governments, CEBRA, Onside, RMCG and Hort Innovation to discuss key priorities and develop an annual plan that provides information on activities to be undertaken in the first year of the program.

Funded by Hort Innovation on behalf of growers through the Hort Innovation Vegetable Fund, the program will include:

  1. a contingency fund for industry responsiveness to unanticipated threats, providing an adaptable, flexible approach to preparing for high-priority exotic pests
  2. demonstrations of robust, audited on-farm biosecurity practices by growers to foster reassurance and trust within grower communities and multi-level government and non-government groups
  3. developing protocols to facilitate produce movement and the swift reinstatement of market access
  4. a comprehensive communications and extension program across growers, agronomists and consultants.