New pro­gram a game changer

Gatton Star - - LIFE | INTO RURAL -

TEN years of work to de­velop a ro­bust and cer­ti­fied on-farm biose­cu­rity pro­gram for the nurs­ery in­dus­try has re­sulted in the an­nounce­ment of Biose­cure HACCP as the first ever ‘ap­proved’ third-party biose­cu­rity scheme un­der the Queens­land Biose­cu­rity Act 2014.

Nurs­ery & Gar­den In­dus­try Aus­tralia have also been an­nounced as the first ever ‘ap­proved’ op­er­a­tor of a biose­cu­rity scheme un­der the Act.

De­vel­oped by NGIA with fund­ing from Hort In­no­va­tion, Biose­cure HACCP en­ables cer­ti­fied pro­duc­tion nurs­eries to min­imise pest, dis­ease and weed risks, while work­ing to­wards a more stream­lined ap­proach to in­ter­state trade of nurs­ery stock.

Last week, na­tional recog­ni­tion for the scheme was an­nounced by Queens­land Min­is­ter for Agri­cul­tural In­dus­try Devel­op­ment and Fish­eries Mark Furner at Pohlmans Nurs­ery.

They are one of the first nurs­eries to be cer­ti­fied as Biose­cure HACCP.

The event brought to­gether in­dus­try and gov­ern­ment to mark this im­por­tant leg­isla­tive step, em­pow­er­ing pro­duc­tion nurs­eries to con­trol and man­age their biose­cu­rity obli­ga­tions on site.

NGIA pres­i­dent and Tas­ma­nian grower Karen Brock said it was an ex­cit­ing mo­ment for the nurs­ery in­dus­try, with Biose­cure HACCP evolv­ing from a con­cept ten years ago, to a scheme that is now rev­o­lu­tion­is­ing biose­cu­rity pre­pared­ness, com­pli­ance and lift­ing busi­ness pro­duc­tiv­ity.

“We are thrilled to see Biose­cure HACCP be­come the first ever ‘ap­proved’ third party biose­cu­rity scheme un­der the Queens­land Biose­cu­rity Act 2014. In ad­di­tion to this, NGIA has also be­come the first ever ‘ap­proved’ op­er­a­tor of a biose­cu­rity scheme,” Ms Brock said.

“As an in­dus­try that takes its re­spon­si­bil­ity on biose­cu­rity very se­ri­ously, we are ready to step for­ward in this new ca­pac­ity. To­gether with our mem­bers, we want to pave the way for other hor­ti­cul­tural in­dus­tries to recog­nise and source nurs­ery stock from Biose­cure HACCP cer­ti­fied pro­duc­tion nurs­eries.”

Biose­cure HACCP has set the bench­mark for on-farm biose­cu­rity pro­grams led by an in­dus­try and, over the past three years, has re­ceived a num­ber of biose­cu­rity awards by the Aus­tralian Depart­ment of Agri­cul­tural and Wa­ter Re­sources.

Ms Brock said Biose­cure HACCP was help­ing to se­cure a stronger, more re­silient nurs­ery in­dus­try that was now na­tion­ally worth more than $2.29 bil­lion per an­num.

“As an in­dus­try that pro­vides seedlings, starter stock and shrubs into our food, fi­bre and fo­liage sup­ply chains, as well as green life for land­scape and reveg­e­ta­tion, a ro­bust biose­cu­rity pro­gram like Biose­cure HACCP is an ab­so­lute game changer,” she said.

“I would like to ac­knowl­edge NGIA Na­tional Biose­cu­rity Man­ager, John Mcdon­ald, for his enor­mous con­tri­bu­tion on Biose­cure HACCP. John is the brains be­hind Biose­cure HACCP, and has been in­stru­men­tal in nav­i­gat­ing the scheme from in­cep­tion right through to ap­proval.

“It is also im­por­tant to thank the Min­is­ter and the Depart­ment for their col­lab­o­ra­tion on Biose­cure HACCP and un­der­stand­ing the shared re­spon­si­bil­ity of biose­cu­rity be­tween gov­ern­ment and grow­ers.

“To­gether, we all have a vi­tal role to play in keep­ing our pro­duc­tion nurs­eries pest-free, pro­duc­tive and prof­itable.”

CON­TRIB­UTED PHOTO:

PLANT­ING SEEDS: NGIA pres­i­dent Karen Brock, Mark Furner MP and NGIA na­tional biose­cu­rity man­ager John Mcdon­ald.

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