Australia allows NZ apples import


CANBERRA: Biosecurity Australia on Wednesday gave approval for the importation of New Zealand apples into Australia, Xinhua News reports.

Biosecurity Australia said in a statement that the import conditions require that New Zealand growers be registered to export to Australia.

Under guidelines proposed by the director of Animal and Plant Quarantine, only commercially mature fruit will be allowed to be imported, in a move to prevent the spread of diseases such as fire blight and European canker.

New Zealand growers also need to apply in-orchard controls for fire blight, European canker and apple leaf curling midge, including ongoing targeted monitoring, spraying and pruning.

Imported fruit will need to be washed by high-pressure water spraying and brushed in the packing house to remove surface contamination of pests and trash such as leaf litter.

Earlier, Australian apple growers said they would label locally grown apples with special stickers as part of a campaign against the introduction of New Zealand imports.

New Zealand apples have been banned from Australia since 1919, due to an outbreak of fireblight, a disease affecting fruit trees.