Fruit flies

Fruit flies are a large and important group of insect pests that attack a wide range of fruit and vegetables globally. In Australia, the presence of some species of exotic fruit fly could reduce the capacity to trade in domestic and international horticultural markets. In 2016-17, the produce potentially affected by fruit flies was valued at $6 billion, about half of the horticulture sector which is worth $12 billion.

This economic value, together with the fact that fruit fly don’t respect state boundaries, has prompted an integrated national approach to protect Australian horticulture and maintain and enhance market access. Managing fruit fly involves dealing with species already present such as the Queensland fruit fly, and using surveillance to detect any exotic fruit fly species.

 National Fruit Fly Council

In October 2015, a new council was formed to work with growers and fruit fly management community groups across all states and territories to control fruit fly on a national scale. The announcement was made jointly by Plant Health Australia (PHA) and Hort Innovation, one of the major funding contributors.

The Board of Hort Innovation approved funding for the three year commitment, supplementing funds contributed by the Australian Government and state and territory governments, which has allowed the joint industry-government council to go ahead. In 2018, funding for the council was renewed for another three year period.

Prevent Fruit Fly

More information about the National Fruit Fly Council is available on the Prevent Fruit Fly website. As well as providing information about the Council and its activities, the website serves as a hub of fruit fly management resources for backyard growers and commercial producers. The website is supported by the Prevent Fruit Fly twitter account and e-newsletter which share regular updates from the Council and a range of other fruit fly news and resources.

National Fruit Fly Strategy

The National Fruit Fly Strategy 2020–2025 (NFFS) has been developed by the National Fruit Fly Council to provide a framework for ongoing stakeholder cooperation to support a contemporary, viable, cost-effective and coordinated national approach to fruit fly management. The strategy applies to all endemic and non-endemic species of fruit fly.
While no additional funding has been committed to the NFFS, the implementation plan for 2020–2021 collates key fruit fly activities that have already been planned and resourced by stakeholders against priority areas. The Council will use this implementation plan to monitor progress against the NFFS and identify gaps that need to be addressed in the national system, advising stakeholders and decision-makers on key findings.

Benefit–Cost Analysis of the Long-term Containment Strategy for Exotic Fruit Flies in the Torres Strait

The report, Benefit-cost analysis of the long-term containment strategy for exotic fruit flies in the Torres Strait, presents a benefit-cost analysis (BCA) of the response component of the Long-term Containment Strategy for Exotic Fruit Flies in Torres Strait.

Produced by Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) for the National Biosecurity Committee, it includes a business case for horticultural industries to invest in it.

Australian Handbook for the Identification of Fruit Flies

The accurate identification of fruit flies is a key component of Australia’s biosecurity system that underpins the domestic movement of fruit and vegetables, maintains international market access for Australian producers and protects Australia’s borders from exotic pest incursions.