Biosecurity Fact Sheet - Fresh cut flowers and foliage imports from all countries

​​​​​​​​​​​​Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, November 2018

The factsheet provides an overview of the risk review for fresh cut flowers and foliage imports into Australia.

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Key facts

  • The department released the draft report for the Pest Risk Analysis for Fresh Cut Flowers and Foliage Imports—Part 1 on 14 November 2018.
  • Stakeholders can submit comments on the draft report during the extended public consultation period, closing 31 January 2019.
  • The final report for Part 1will be published after consideration of comments on the draft report. We expect to publish the final report around mid-2019.

Pest risk analysis for fresh cut flowers and foliage imports

In 2017, we conducted an Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper-funded review of the import conditions for fresh cut flowers and foliage. This review identified that high numbers of arthropod pests were being found on imported cut flowers and foliage.

Also in 2017, we finalised the Group pest risk analysis for thrips and orthotospoviruses on fresh fruit, vegetable, cut-flower and foliage imports (Group Thrips PRA). The Group Thrips PRA considered the biosecurity risk posed by thrips across numerous import pathways, including cut flowers and foliage. It also considered the biosecurity risk posed by members of the virus genus Orthotospovirus, which are transmitted by some thrips species.

As a consequence of the review and the Group Thrips PRA, we revised the import conditions for fresh cut flowers and foliage to reduce the risk of quarantine pests arriving in Australia. The revised import conditions came into effect on 1 March 2018.

This pest risk analysis was initiated to clarify the pests of quarantine concern to Australia that are associated with imports of cut flowers and foliage from all countries. This pest risk analysis also confirms that the introduction of the revised import conditions on 1 March 2018, manages the biosecurity risks to achieve the appropriate level of protection for Australia.

This pest risk analysis is being conducted in two parts, (i) an assessment of the three major arthropod pest groups—mites, aphids and thrips; and (ii) an assessment of other arthropod pests associated with fresh cut flowers and foliage.

How stakeholders can contribute

Stakeholders are invited to comment on the draft report during the extended public consultation period, which closes on 31 January 2019. Stakeholders can submit their comments via the department’s website.

The final report will be published after consideration of stakeholder comments.

We expect to publish the final report around mid-2019. 

Australia-All Countries trade

In 2016-2017:

  • Australia’s total value of fresh cut flower production was worth $275.6 million, of which a total value of $9.7 million was exported.
  • Australia’s main export markets for fresh cut flowers were the Netherlands, with a value of $2.8 million, and Japan with a value of $2.7 million.
  • Australia imported fresh cut flowers worth $66.8 million.
  • The main countries which exported fresh cut flowers were Kenya ($16.2 million), Malaysia ($12 million), Colombia ($9.1 million), Ecuador ($9.1 million) and China ($4.7 million).

Global fresh cut flowers and foliage production

The leading fresh cut flowers imported into Australia are roses, orchids, carnations and chrysanthemums.

The commercial large-scale production of fresh cut flowers for export from Kenya, Malaysia, Colombia, Ecuador and China occurs predominantly under protected conditions in greenhouses. This allows for fresh cut flowers to be produced year round.

Fresh cut flowers and foliage production in Australia

In Australia, cut flowers are produced predominantly in regions such as Wimmera and the Melbourne region of Victoria, the Perth region of Western Australia, the Central Coast and Northern Rivers region of New South Wales, and South East Queensland.

Australia’s cut flower industry mainly supplies the domestic market, however, Australia exports significant amounts of native cut flowers and South African Proteaceae (such as Proteas) to Japan, the United States of America and Western Europe.

Further information

The department will answer questions relating to this pest risk analysis at any time during the process. New scientific information will also be considered at any time. Further information on this pest risk analysis can be found at Cut flowers and foliage, or by contacting us.

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