Australia’s apple and pear industry has welcomed the Australian Government’s decision to suspend imports of nashi pears from South Korea due to an outbreak of fire blight there.
The South Korean Government notified Australia of the outbreak of fire blight in accordance with its protocol requirements.
Australia only imports a very small volume of Asian style or ‘nashi’ pears from South Korea. In 2014, imported nashi pears from South Korea comprised only 82 tonnes, up from the 49 tonnes in the previous year. Australia does not have access to export apples or pears to South Korea.
South Korea was granted access to the Australian market in March 1999 following an import risk assessment by the Australian Government. Further access was granted in 2005 to include sourcing from an additional growing region within South Korea.
Access was granted subject to South Korea implementing phytosanitary requirements to prevent a range of pests and diseases – including fire blight – reaching Australia through in-field detection, monitoring surveys, disinfestation and recognised pest/disease-free growing areas.
No pests and diseases of quarantine concern to Australia have been intercepted in the sixteen years of trade in Korean pear fruit.
In its Public Quarantine Alert PQA1048 about the trade suspension the Australian Government said:
“Regional staff, importers and brokers are advised that imports of fresh pears from Korea are suspended until further notice. The suspension follows the confirmed detection of fire blight (Erwinia amylovora) in Korea and is in accordance with the Import protocol for Korean pear fruit from the Republic of Korea 2011.”
Please visit apal.org.au for more information.