The latest on fruit fly outbreaks in South Australia.

Prepare your business for a fruit fly outbreak

Find out how to prepare and develop a plan so your business is ready for a fruit fly outbreak.

How a fruit fly outbreak can affect your business

A fruit fly outbreak can affect your business by changing the way that restricted fruit and vegetables are managed within red outbreak areas and yellow suspension areas.

Restricted fruit and vegetables need to be treated, certified and transported securely, to ensure fruit fly is not spreading in infected fruit.

Your business will be impacted depending:

  • if you are in a red outbreak or yellow suspension area
  • if it is Mediterranean or Queensland Fruit Fly
  • the timing of the outbreak through the season
  • where you are marketing your fruit and vegetables

Understanding and preparing for an outbreak

Follow these steps to learn about fruit fly, and the actions you can take to reduce your risks and be ready for a fruit fly outbreak.

What you need to know

What you can do to prepare

What you need to know

What you can do to prepare

  • know which treatments are required for your export market
  • consider identifying alternative buyers in a non-sensitive domestic market, if your markets are sensitive to fruit fly
  • become accredited now for your treatments
  • find out the nearest treatment facilities.

What you need to know

What you can do to prepare

What you need to know

A fruit fly outbreak can last from 12 weeks to over a year depending on detections so you need to understand what to do with restricted fruit and vegetables harvested before an outbreak and treatment options if after harvest.

What you can do to prepare

  • consider different strategies depending on whether the outbreak occurs during harvest or outside harvest season
  • discuss arrangements with your packer if required
  • identify who you can discuss financial impacts with such as Rural Business Support, an accountant or the FaBS mentors.
1. Stay aware of fruit fly and outbreaks

What you need to know

What you can do to prepare

2. Understand how to continue selling to your markets

What you need to know

What you can do to prepare

  • know which treatments are required for your export market
  • consider identifying alternative buyers in a non-sensitive domestic market, if your markets are sensitive to fruit fly
  • become accredited now for your treatments
  • find out the nearest treatment facilities.
3. Understand how to treat and move your fruit and vegetables

What you need to know

What you can do to prepare

4. Timing of season for outbreaks

What you need to know

A fruit fly outbreak can last from 12 weeks to over a year depending on detections so you need to understand what to do with restricted fruit and vegetables harvested before an outbreak and treatment options if after harvest.

What you can do to prepare

  • consider different strategies depending on whether the outbreak occurs during harvest or outside harvest season
  • discuss arrangements with your packer if required
  • identify who you can discuss financial impacts with such as Rural Business Support, an accountant or the FaBS mentors.

Case studies

Examples of businesses who have planned what they will do if affected by a fruit fly outbreak.

Selling to one market and needing to apply treatments

Joe grows and packs 6ha of nectarines, peaches and apricots and has supplied the one wholesaler in Adelaide for the last 15 years.

If a fruit fly outbreak occurs and Joe’s property falls within a red or yellow area, he will need to treat his fruit in one of the approved methods to send to his agent in Adelaide.

Joe understands the requirements of ICA-07 Cold treatment disinfestation and plans to become accredited as soon as possible.

If the outbreak occurs close to harvest, he knows where he can have his fruit fumigated until he can send fruit under the accreditation.

Diversifying markets and reducing need for treatments

Joe’s neighbour, Jack grows nectarines and peaches and supplies the same wholesaler in Adelaide.

For the last three years, Jack has been sending about 20% of his crop to wholesalers in Melbourne and Sydney. Even though the prices are a little less from time to time, Jack wanted to maintain the relationships with those wholesalers.

In the event of a Queensland fruit fly outbreak, Jack plans to send most of his fruit to Sydney and Melbourne but still maintain the Adelaide market with a smaller volume of fruit which is fumigated before being shipped to Adelaide.

Jack believes that by sending most of his fruit to Sydney and Melbourne instead of Adelaide he will avoid some of the costs associated with fumigating fruit being sent to Adelaide.

Located in Riverland Pest Free Area and ready to apply treatments

Cheryl is a table grape grower in the Riverland Pest Free Area and sells to a local fruit and vegetable store and at weekend markets in Adelaide.

Cheryl maintains ICA-23 accreditation and packs all fruit in sealed cartons. Along with written approval from PIRSA, Cheryl is able to bring unsold and unopened cartons home from Adelaide.

In the event of an outbreak, Cheryl is ready to become accredited with ICA-20 for pre-harvest spray and post-harvest inspection of table grapes. While this will enable Cheryl to take grapes to weekend markets in Adelaide, unsold fruit can no longer be returned to the Riverland PFA. Grapes sold to the local fruit and veg store will also need to be fumigated, as the ICA-20 systems approach is not accepted for sales into the Riverland PFA.

Page Last Reviewed: 23 Mar 2022
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