Chile is a step closer to exporting Avocados to Australia after an import risk analysis recommended access be approved provided Chile can meet all biosecurity import conditions.
The Australian government analysis recommended that all imports must come from the commercial production areas of Chile.
It also highlighted seven quarantine pests associated with avocados present in Chile. These will require risk management measures to reduce the risk to an acceptable level.
These risk management measures included area freedom or fruit treatment (such as cold disinfestation treatment) for all cultivars or hard condition of fruit for the Hass cultivar, to deal with Mediterranean fruit fly.
For mealybug, thrips and Oligonychus spider mites, pre-export visual inspection and, if found, remedial action was recommended.
John Tyas, chief executive of Avocados Australia, said Chile was still some time from gaining access and even if it does, the South American country faces a market that is already well supplied.
“The next step for Chile will be to establish workable quarantine protocols and there’s no timeframe on when that process will be completed, but it is possible that access could be achieved as early as 2021,” Tyas said.
“The Australian market is well supplied already from domestic production and summer imports from New Zealand. In time, we expect that New Zealand supplies will not be required either,” Tyas added.
“With a population of just 25m, Australia is a minnow compared to Chile’s existing export markets in Europe, the US, and China.”