New agreement to protect onion industry

The New Zealand onion industry is boosting it's readiness to deal with potential biosecurity risks.

Biosecurity New Zealand and Onions New Zealand are to work together to make sure they are prepared under a new 'Sector Readiness Operational Agreement'.

"The agreement demonstrates commitment to working in a strong partnership to strengthen readiness for incursions of specific pests and diseases," said Andrew Spelman, Biosecurity NZ's Acting Director, Biosecurity Readiness. 

"This is about both organisations pulling up their sleeves to improve biosecurity readiness under the GIA (Government Industry Agreement)," he said.

Under the agreement, Biosecurity NZ and Onions New Zealand will jointly fund initiatives to protect the onion industry.

"Signing an operational agreement will solidify the partnership that has formed over the few last years and ensure we are prepared for future biosecurity incursions," said Mr Spelman.

One of the first tasks under the new agreement is to draft a readiness plan for Delia antiqua (onion fly), a pest responsible for up to 90 percent of crop losses in temperate regions overseas. 

This pest is not currently found in New Zealand.