Message from the CEO – April 2022

  • Message from the CEO – April 2022 image

The first quarter of 2022 has been busy with building our 2022-23 Annual Operational Plan (AOP) that presents key activities and targets for the next financial year. This is the first AOP under the new Strategic Plan 2022-27 and the draft which outlines the actions required to support our vision of being a valued leader of a strong, integrated Australian plant biosecurity system was presented to our Members at the end of last month.

At the end of March, PHA’s Executive Management Team attended a two-day off-site workshop to map out our activities under the new Strategic Plan 2022-27, and address the capability, capacity and organisational structure needed to support implementation. We had an in-depth analysis of the plan and focused on aligning business activities to the strategy, as well as discussing key topics of risk and powering up our workforce.

Also last month, our Native Bee Workshop attracted more than 170 participants discussing topics such as biosecurity risk mitigation and best-practice conservation methods.

In the first week of April, the National Fruit Fly Council hosted an online webinar on interspecies competition in fruit flies, sponsored by the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment under the Smart Fruit Fly Management Measure. Several more fruit fly webinars are planned for the remainder of the year, so please keep an eye on our upcoming events page and social media.

Earlier this month, the Australian Government announced the awarding of a $2,040,000 grant to Hort Innovation to strengthen horticultural exports and help industry identify opportunities and develop trade expansion plans in 13 export markets. The Hort Innovation project will focus on what international customers want across 20 product categories of fruits, vegetables, and nuts to better position Australian horticultural exports to negotiate and achieve their trade goals.

Last week, PHA also hosted a successful Joint Industry-Government Stakeholder (JIGS) workshop focussing on the value of data. Keep an eye out for the post-event survey. Details of the next JIGS workshop in July will be shared.

The Farm Biosecurity program, a joint AHA-PHA initiative and a flagship program, continues to produce online tools and resources to assist producers and growers in making biosecurity business as usual. I am proud to say that over the past twelve months the website has seen good growth with users accessing essential farm biosecurity information, toolkits, crop-specific biosecurity information and the latest pest and disease alerts, videos, apps and facts sheets.

Australian’s are no strangers to extreme weather events but as producers and communities commenced recovery from the February floods in Queensland and New South Wales, extreme rainfall in these areas caused renewed flooding. Not only were thousands of homes destroyed, but many growers had to deal with road closures and floodwater contamination. We are proud of all the producers and growers for keeping the supply chain going and getting fruit, vegetables, fibres, oils and grains back into the marketplace at such a remarkable speed.

Sarah Corcoran
CEO, Plant Health Australia