Import conditions for fresh strawberries (Fragaria x ananassa) from Japan have been published on our Biosecurity Import Conditions system (BICON). Import permits will now be issued.
The decision to commence imports will be a commercial decision between an exporter in Japan and an importer in Australia. The importer must meet the import conditions as set out in BICON.
When we do a risk analysis, we:
- review the science on pests and diseases of concern
- assess and analyse biosecurity risks
- develop proposed risk management measures, if required
- consult the public on the draft report and then review comments
- publish the final report
- verify that the country can meet the import requirements
- develop import conditions
- publish import conditions in our Biosecurity Import Conditions system (BICON).
About the risk analysis
We initiated this risk analysis because Japan requested market access for fresh strawberries. Learn more about why we carry out risk analyses and our international obligations.
This risk analysis was conducted in accordance with the Biosecurity Act 2015. We conducted an assessment of the potential quarantine pests associated with strawberries from Japan and found that:
- the pests of concern were the same, or of the same pest groups, as those pests that had been assessed previously for other horticultural goods
- there are appropriate risk management measures already established for these pests or pest groups.
Summary of the final report
We recommend that the importation of fresh strawberries from Japan be permitted provided they meet the biosecurity import conditions. All imports must come from commercial production areas of Japan.
Twelve quarantine pests associated with fresh strawberry fruit are present in Japan, and need risk management measures to reduce the risk to an acceptable level. These pests are:
- Drosophila species: drosophilid flies (Drosophila pulchrella and Drosophila subpulchrella), and spotted wing drosophila (Drosophila suzukii)
- Spider mites: hawthorn spider mite (Amphitetranychus viennensis), spider mites (Eotetranychus smithi, Eotetranychus asiaticus and Eotetranychus geniculatus), and Kanzawa spider mite (Tetranychus kanzawai)
- Thrips: tobacco thrips (Frankliniella fusca), Eurasian flower thrips (Frankliniella intonsa), and western flower thrips (Frankliniella occidentalis)
- Bacterium: angular leaf spot (Xanthomonas fragariae).
Western flower thrips has been identified as a regional quarantine pest for the Northern Territory, and another arthropod pest, Kanzawa spider mite has been identified as a regional quarantine pest for Western Australia because interstate quarantine regulations and enforcement are in place for these species. Western flower thrips was also assessed as a regulated article for all of Australia, as it is capable of harbouring and spreading emerging orthotospoviruses that are quarantine pests for Australia.
Risk management measures
We recommend a range of measures to reduce the risk of these pests, so as to achieve the appropriate level of protection for Australia. These measures are:
- area freedom (including pest free places of production or pest free production sites, which may require evidence of a seasonal absence) or fruit treatment (such as methyl bromide fumigation or irradiation) for Drosophila species
- pre-export visual inspection and, if found, remedial action for spider mites and/or thrips
- area freedom or a systems approach approved by the department for angular leaf spot.
Download final report
Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, February 2020.
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Japan is Australia’s second largest export market for agricultural products (including fisheries and forestry) with around $6 billion worth of trade in 2018–19. Japan was Australia’s largest export destination for beef in 2018–19, valued at $2.3 billion. Other key exports from Australia to Japan include wheat and barley, wine and horticulture (oranges, mandarins and table grapes). Agricultural imports from Japan were worth around $220 million in 2018–19.
Strawberry industry in Japan
In Japan, most fresh strawberries are produced in greenhouses. Fruit is harvested from November to May, which aligns with production in southern states of Australia. In 2016, Japan exported 550 tonnes of strawberries, mainly to Hong Kong, Singapore and Thailand.
Strawberry industry in Australia
Strawberries are grown in all Australian states by around 500 commercial growers. Production is concentrated in the Sunshine Coast area of Queensland; the Yarra Valley and Mornington Peninsula in Victoria; the Camden region of New South Wales; south-western Western Australia; the Adelaide Hills in South Australia; and Tasmania. As a result of these different growing regions, fruit are available throughout the year. Peak production occurs between June and October in Queensland and Western Australia, and October and May in southern areas of Australia.
In 2017–18, Australia produced more than 93,500 tonnes of strawberries valued at AU$445 million. Of this around 4,300 tonnes, worth $29.7 million, was exported. Australia currently permits imports of fresh strawberries from USA (California), New Zealand and most recently from the Republic of Korea. However, there have been very limited imports of strawberries in recent years.
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