Biosecure HACCP program in plant nurseries
Is your nursery Biosecure HACCP certified? BioSecure Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) is an industry biosecurity program, funded by the NGIA levy, to assist grower assessments of pest, disease and weed risks. It also guides growers in the implementation of management strategies at critical control points.
Throughout 2019, the NT Government undertook a project to engage with and develop further awareness of the Biosecure HACCP program across production nurseries in northern Australia. This forms part of an increasing effort by the NT Government to collaborate with industry to enhance biosecurity efforts to protect NT industries from exotic pests and diseases, which can seriously affect productivity and the viability of businesses. The devastating effects of pests has been recently observed through the citrus canker and banana freckle eradication programs. Preventing future incursions will be critical for supporting the continued growth of existing industries and promoting the development of new enterprises in the NT.
Regular contact with the participating businesses (four local NT businesses participated for the full duration of the project) was an integral part of the project. This was made possible through a dedicated project officer appointed to help manage the project, and meet with businesses regularly.
As part of this project, an audit was carried out at the onset and completion of activities, gaining valuable insight into the perceptions of nursery businesses within the NT. The importance of gaining this pre- and post-project perception has been critical to guiding relevant discussions for businesses and focusing of key areas of concern.
Further to these audits and regular visits, a major component of the project was the delivery of a training program across northern Australia, delivered through Greenlife Australia (GIA). The project-based workshops explored integrated pest management, the availability of resources (through the farm management system website run by GIA), and practical skills associated with monitoring for a pest and weed species in the nursery. This training was held across the NT, Queensland and Western Australia.
The project has been successful in improving biosecurity awareness and surveillance in several production nurseries in northern Australia. While the project funding has now finished, the NT Government will continue to provide support for local businesses to continue to uptake and improve their biosecurity practices. This will assist with capacity building for businesses and their staff.
The NT Government would like to thank all participating nurseries for their time and efforts during this project, and look forward to seeing the biosecurity awareness expand further into the future.
For more information, contact Hannah Cooke, HACCP Project Officer (08) 8999 2063