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for carrot, celery
AWIDESPREAD exotic pathogen which
attacks carrot and celery has become
a serious threat to Australian crops,
prompting a national emergency biosecurity
International trading partners have been
notified that Australia will implement emer-
gency quarantine measures from October 20
to protect agricultural industries from the
bacterial pathogen Candidatus Liberibacter
Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce said the
pathogen -- which causes leaf curling, leaf
yellowing, stunting and root abnormalities in
carrots and celery -- had spread rapidly across
geographically distant areas including France,
Norway, Spain, Sweden and Morocco.
Consequently, the emergency measures will
apply to relevant imports from any country
"The government's first priority is to protect
our domestic industries from this exotic threat.
Australia's carrot industry is worth more than
$190 million a year, with celery valued at
about $34m," Mr Joyce said.
"Our biosecurity system is designed to
ensure that Australia's unparalleled reputation
as a producer of clean, green agriculture is
"My department has worked closely with
stakeholders to develop quarantine standards
that minimise any disruption of trade and
provide the highest standard of protection for
Mr Joyce said emergency biosecurity meas-
ures would be implemented by October 20
to provide certainty to seed importers and
producers against the emerging threat but
given that this bacterium had been identi-
fied early, there was no immediate threat to
"The evidence suggests this bacterium is
spreading through the trade of carrot seeds
and tissue culture, which is a significant
concern to our industries," he said.
"Most Australian carrot crops are grown
from imported seed, so the Australian carrot
industry needs continued importation."
The emergency quarantine measures include
heat treatment or molecular testing for car-
rot seeds as well as screening in post-entry
quarantine facilities and molecular testing for
carrot and celery tissue cultures.
Evidence suggests bacterial pathogen Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum is spreading through
the trade of carrot seeds and tissue culture.
Extra virgin olive oil put to test
THE best Extra Virgin Olive Oils from
around Australia were judged at The
Australian National EVOO Competition at
the Mercure hotel in North Adelaide at
the end of August.
Australian Olive Association chief
executive officer Lisa Rowntree said the
competition had been running for 18
years and was the oldest in Australia.
"It is a well-run, fair and highly
regarded competition with coveted
awards," she said.
The association gathered 17 of the
country's best tasters and six associate
judges to sip and slurp their way through
nearly 200 olive oil entries.
Ms Rowntree said the number of
entries was slightly down on last year
and attributed that to the earlier close-
"After some grower feedback last year,
we bought the whole show system and
conference forward a month to allow
extra time for those that win the awards
to promote and sell their award-winning
oils," she said.
But Ms Rowntree said the earlier date
combined with the later season meant
some growers were not able to have
their oils ready in time to enter.
"We know that some growers in
southern Vic and in Tas were still picking
their olives much later than they usually
do which meant that they ran out of
time," she said.
To make the awards more meaningful,
the association has revamped its catego-
ries, doing away with classes based on
volume and changing to those based on
the style of the oil.
"This year we've introduced awards for
the best mild, medium and robust oils in
each category which we felt was much
more meaningful to consumers," Ms
The winners will be announced at
the Australian Olive Association's gala
awards presentation dinner to be held
at The Mercure Resort Hotel in Pokolbin
Hunter Valley, NSW, on Wednesday,
• Need to know more?
Contest running for 18 years
Nearly 200 olive oil entries
Early closing dates affect some
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