Support for

Creating a better future for Australian apple and pear growers,
through industry leadership and commercial advancement.

Pests & Biosecurity

Australia’s relative geographic isolation and robust biosecurity provisions have helped establish a global reputation for ‘clean, green’ produce. This status provides Australian growers with competitive advantage over orchards in other parts of the world.

While Australia has successfully worked to prevent the entry of significant biosecurity threats such as fire blight, some pests are already within Australia, and in these instances, biosecurity focuses on managing those outbreaks, especially between states and territories.

Where destructive pests have not yet made it to Australia, every effort is being made to keep it that way: once pests like fire blight are introduced, it’s here to stay and could have a detrimental impact on the pome fruit industry.

Given the significant risks to Australian agriculture, APAL believes there is a need to increase the level of public education on the risks associated with imported pest and diseases. A proportion of the proposed Biosecurity Import levy should be set aside for this purpose.

APAL works closely with Plant Health Australia to address plant health issues and manage pest outbreaks.



What is fire blight?

What is fire blight?

Fire blight is a serious disease affecting apples and pears with the potential to cause widespread damage for the industry. It is endemic to North America and has spread to many countries including Europe and New Zealand.

Fire blight causes damage to the leaves, branches, shoots, blossoms and fruit tissue, resulting in tissue death.

To date, Australia has managed to prevent the entry of fire blight through robust biosecurity practices. If fire blight does become established in Australia, our market access would be impacted.

APAL has commenced a review of the Fire Blight Contingency Plan and addressed the need for categorisation of European canker and apple leaf curling midge for the Emergency Plant Pest Response Deed.

What is fire blight?
What other pests are a threat to apples and pears?

What other pests are a threat to apples and pears?

What other pests are a threat to apples and pears?

The most prevalent insect pest are fruit flies, both Mediterranean Fruit Fly (Medfly) and Queensland Fruit Fly (Qfly), which breed in loose fruit and pose a major threat to orchards. Fruit flies appear on almost every continent and millions of dollars are spent in Australia annually on their control and eradication. Fruit that has been affected by fruit flies is clearly blemished cannot be sold to consumers.

Other pests present a constant biosecurity threat to our borders. The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) is known for the damaging marks it leaves behind after feeding, which also makes fruit unsalable. It can also completely defoliate young trees when they are most vulnerable, making it a significant threat to orchards year round.

BMSB is endemic in Europe and North America because of its tendency to stow away inside shipping containers and its ability to survive for long periods in cargo by remaining dormant.