Global trade of agricultural produce is growing. This means that now, more than ever, we need robust biosecurity risk management systems.

One way to address biosecurity risks in agricultural trade is to use phytosanitary systems approaches – where two or more management measures are applied to cumulatively reduce the risk of spreading pests or pathogens as produce moves from farm to market.

To optimise the use of systems approaches, agreed and rigorous methods are needed to guide their design and demonstrate their effectiveness.

CSIRO is working with industry and Australian federal and state government partners to strengthen the methods, tools and evidence-base for systems approaches. Our work builds on, and contributes to, international research in this field. Our aim is to develop tools that are robust, practical and can be applied to a wide range of biosecurity and market access issues.

With better tools to support the design and validation of systems approaches, we can:

  • Expand opportunities for domestic and international trade of agricultural commodities
  • Protect biosecurity in Australia and overseas
  • Ensure trading partners have confidence in agreed phytosanitary measures
  • Improve harmonisation to reduce the cost and complexity of protocols

A toolkit for the design and validation of systems approaches

This website provides access for biosecurity stakeholders to principles, methodologies, decision frameworks and qualitative and quantitative tools to help apply systems approaches to a range of pest management and biosecurity challenges.

The systems approaches toolkit can be used to:

  • Develop new systems approach-based phytosanitary protocols
  • Refine, simplify or more rigorously verify existing phytosanitary protocols
  • Assess the likely efficacy of protocols proposed in market access applications
  • Design rigorous risk management responses for wider biosecurity issues or incursions

Our research contributes to the development, testing and harmonisation of the concepts and methods that underpin phytosanitary systems approaches. The standardised methodologies can be used to:

  • Categorise and quantify how individual phytosanitary measures contribute to reducing risks
  • Determine an efficient mix of phytosanitary measures to manage pests of concern
  • Validate the efficacy of the selected mix of measures, using quantitative models
  • Develop comprehensive data packages that support a proposed systems approach for biosecurity risk management

Explore these pages to find out more about systems approaches and the tools available to design and validate them.

Funding acknowledgement

Much of our current research is being progressed through the project, ‘Developing Systems Approaches to Achieve Market Access for Australian Horticulture’ (AM17001), which is funded by the Hort Frontiers Asian Markets fund, part of the Hort Frontiers strategic partnership initiative developed by Hort Innovation, with co-investment from partners below, and contributions from the Australian Government.