Preparedness key to building nursery industry capacity in biosecurity incursions

Friday, 5 February 2021

For growers and nursery businesses, the threat of biosecurity incursions can have a knock-on effect of social and economic instability, impacting business continuity.

The levy-funded ‘Ensuring business continuity during biosecurity incursions – social and economic research learnings for the production nursery industry’ (NY18010) project, is working toward establishing management practices that recognise the social and economic impact biosecurity incursions can have on individual nursery owners and businesses.

Led by Nursery & Garden Industry Queensland (NGIQ), the team is collaborating with researchers from the CSIRO to identify social and economic impacts and approaches that best support growers and businesses manage biosecurity risks and minimise business interruption.

A literature review recently undertaken through this project identified key elements that help production nurseries minimise business impacts during a biosecurity incursion. These include:

  • Strong and early biosecurity preparedness measures that build grower capacity to deal with an incursion
  • Inclusive, planned and proactive stakeholder engagement
  • Decision-making that is methodical, participatory, transparent and holistic
  • Practical information and assistance related to the broad range of supportive measures and resources required by nursery businesses
  • Early, frequent, clear, up-to-date and informative communication.

Next steps for this project will see CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, interview growers and broader industry stakeholders, to gather insights on their experiences with managing biosecurity incursions. Following, will be a larger-scale survey of production businesses who have likely been impacted by pest and disease incursions.

Participants will be asked to comment on the types of impacts experienced, and how the responses by businesses, industry and government to an incursion can be improved.

Through these key stakeholder interviews and surveys, the project team hope to further define the specific impacts and support measures for biosecurity incursions that are most beneficial and valuable to growers.

This information will be critical in developing efficient approaches to preparedness, response, recovery, resumption and restoration of business activities, establishing practical and effective support tools and methods for businesses and growers to utilise.

If you would like to contribute to this important research, please contact the CSIRO research lead Barton Loechel at barton.loechel@csiro.au or the NGIQ project lead Kerry Battersby at recovery@ngiq.asn.au, who will provide you with further information on the project and what’s involved in participating in the research.

The ‘Ensuring business continuity during biosecurity incursions – social and economic research learnings for the production nursery industry’ (NY18010) project is funded by Hort Innovation using the nursery industry levy and funds from the Australian Government.