Fruit fly disease triggers MARD response.
Vietnam has suspended the importation of fruit from Australia due to an outbreak of fruit fly disease in the country, Mr. Nguyen Xuan Hong, Director of the Plant Protection Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Department (MARD) has announced.
No fruit flies have appeared in Vietnam as yet, he added. “If fruit flies were to come to Vietnam they would cause not only food safety concerns but also tremendous economic consequences,” he said.
Vietnamese authorities have been working with their Australian counterparts to identify an appropriate solution and reinstate Australian fruit imports in Vietnam.
Australian media have complained that the country’s authorities haven’t been able to resolve the situation, with $40 million worth of exports to Vietnam, Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines being affected.
According to MARD, in the first ten months of 2014 Vietnam imported 2,000 tons of Australian fruit, mostly apples, pears, grapes and cherries.