Menu of measures

This menu of phytosanitary measures is a good place to start exploring management options that could be included in a systems approach, how these options reduce risks, and what data is needed to verify them

Phytosanitary systems approaches enable the use of multiple measures throughout the production process to reduce the risk of pests or pathogens in consignments of agricultural produce.

When developing a new pest risk management system or protocol (or revising an existing one), it is useful to draw on measures that are already used and accepted.

Below is an overview of measures found in existing published protocols and wider literature. The measures have been organised within the systems approach risk framework: categorised against a risk reduction objective and production stages in which the measure may be applied.

Overview of commonly used phytosanitary measures, presented in the risk reduction framework
Overview of phytosanitary measures commonly used in systems approach protocols, presented in the risk reduction framework.

For a deeper dive into these pest risk management measures, we have developed a ‘menu’ to help biosecurity stakeholders to think through risk reduction options. The menu provides:

  • An overview of each category of measures
  • A description of each specific measure
  • The evidence that may be required to demonstrate the efficacy of the measures
  • How the measure is certified
  • How the measure is typically used
  • How measures relate to others

The menu aims to help industry and biosecurity stakeholders consider:

  • Is there sufficient / robust data available to include a measure within a systems approach?
  • Is certification feasible?
  • What measures might work together most effectively?

The information in the menu tool may be useful at both the pest risk analysis stage and the pest risk management / protocol building stage in the biosecurity trade risk management process. 

Also note that while measures that are currently in use are a good place to start, there is room for innovation to develop new measures.

Download a pdf of the full menu of measures here:

Menu of phytosanitary measures | Consultation draft, 19 May 2021PDF651 KB

 

For a brief overview of each category of measures, open the cards below.

Categories of phytosanitary measures - an overview

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Evidence through monitoring is used to demonstrate that pest density is below an acceptable threshold (often zero detections) within the registered site. Sometimes this can include a buffer around the orchard or farm. Monitoring can vary from one-off visual inspections to targeted trapping. Most often, monitoring is conducted only during the growing season when the host is vulnerable, in which case it demonstrates “seasonal pest freedom or low pest prevalence”. Threshold exceedance triggers a consequence, which may be a corrective action or rejection of the registered site. Monitoring without a threshold-induced action would not constitute a phytosanitary measure.

Monitoring is used to give confidence that the pest is not established (or, less commonly, is not present above an accepted threshold) within the production area to which the protocol applies. Providing confidence in pest freedom is the responsibility of the National Plant Protection Officer (NPPO) and is most often established through a network of traps or through an active visual surveillance program. Exceedance of the threshold results in the requirement of alternative measures, or rejection from trade until confidence in pest freedom can be re-established. The key difference between the region compared to the site-based measure is that registered sites can be rejected even if no pests are recorded on them. This measure can be applied to a small production region through to national scale. Monitoring can be seasonal (demonstrating seasonal pest freedom) or year-round.

A wide range of pest management options can be used singly or in combination to minimise pest populations when susceptible hosts or carriers are present. Requirements for pest management measures can range from being very prescriptive (e.g. timing and nature of sprays) to general (e.g. “implementation of IPM” or “presence of biological control agents”).

Pest avoidance is achieved by minimising the overlap of vulnerable host stages with pests in space and time. Avoidance can be partial or complete.

Partial or complete exclusion of the pest can be established on-farm and throughout the supply chain (to prevent post-harvest infestation). It can be achieved at the orchard scale (protected cropping), consignment level (secure storage) down to individual fruit level (e.g. bagging). Pest exclusion measures combine physical “infrastructure” (such as insect proof buildings and containers) with management practices (e.g. to maintain the integrity of processing facilities).

Take actions that ensure that the traded commodity is a relatively poor host or carrier for the pest, irrespective of pest pressure.

Infestation rates are reduced by either killing the pest or removing it from the commodity. A wide range of methods are possible. These measures are applied to batches or consignments of commodity from the point of harvest, with the exception of agrochemicals that can also be applied pre-harvest.

Grading to preferentially remove the subset of the commodity that is at greatest risk of being infested, as assessed either by evidence of being infested or because it is in a particularly susceptible condition. In the case of fruit, grading can occur prior to harvest (e.g. through removal of symptomatic fruit), at harvest and at post-harvest grading steps. Post-harvest grading can be done visually, mechanically (e.g. softness) or using optical technologies.

The likelihood of infested commodities reaching markets is reduced by removing or preventing sources or consignments that are found to be infested. The commodity is inspected, with a consequence for the consignment, block or production system if a pest threshold (typically zero) is exceeded. The measure may stipulate when the inspection has to be conducted (e.g. pre-harvest, pre-grading or post-treatment) and on what (e.g. export grade or reject fruit), how the inspection should be conducted, and the consequence if evidence of infestation/infection is found. Inspection methodologies can vary from general surveillance to targeted sampling and can be once-off or repeated through the season and production system. Threshold exceedance might result in rejection of the consignment, requirement of an additional treatment (such as fumigation), rejection of the consignment and any further consignments from the source in that year, through to cancellation of the protocol until agreed rectifications can be made.

Establishment risk is reduced by only allowing consignments to arrive at destinations where and when the pest is unlikely to establish if an infested/infected consignment arrived.