Yarra Valley Pest Free Place of Production
Victoria's Yarra Valley, north-east of Melbourne, is an important production area for a range of fruit crops which are potential hosts of Queensland fruit fly (QFF).
Changes to the management of QFF in Victoria during 2013 meant that fruit exported to QFF sensitive markets from the Yarra Valley first had to undergo disinfestation treatment.
To avoid the need for disinfestation, Yarra Valley strawberry, cherry and rubus (raspberry and blackberry) growers, together with Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited, Agribusiness Yarra Valley and Agriculture Victoria, funded a project aimed at developing a Pest Free Place of Production (PFPP) program in the region.
PFPP status was achieved using an extensive network of QFF traps to verify the region as being free of QFF, as well as legislation to control fruit marketing arrangements in the region. Agriculture Victoria negotiated acceptance of the PFPP with interstate counterparts based upon this program.
Accredited Yarra Valley fruit growers are able to send their produce to fruit fly sensitive markets including Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania without the need to treat it for QFF.
The Yarra Valley Management Committee has been established to coordinate the PFPP project. It comprises representatives of the participating industries (both growing and packing), the Shire of Yarra Ranges and Agriculture Victoria.
The Yarra Valley PFPP is managed as individual properties within a buffer area (see map ). All fruit industries that are growing fruit fly host produce within the buffer area can participate in the project.
All participating businesses (both growers and packers) are accredited with Agriculture Victoria to certify their produce. Accreditation also restricts the disposal of waste produce on site and the growing of non-commercial host produce.
More than 120 QFF traps have been installed within the Yarra Valley buffer area and are monitored according to the national QFF Code of Practice.
Routine reports on trap monitoring are provided to interstate authorities and the PFPP Management Committee.
For more information about PFPPs, please contact Agriculture Victoria on 136 186.