Ten years of dedicated 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 (NGIA) 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 self-certification approach to interstate trade of nursery stock.
National recognition for the scheme was announced by Queensland Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries, the Hon. Mark Furner, at Pohlmans Nursery near Gatton; one of the first nurseries to be certified as BioSecure HACCP.
The event brought together industry and government to mark this important legislative step, which will empower 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.”