Major Mid Murray supermarkets put fruit fly protection first

Residents living on the edge of the Riverland Pest Free Area (PFA) and shack owners will be able to shop at major Mid Murray supermarkets while keeping fruit fly out of the region.

Woolworths in Murray Bridge – outside the Riverland PFA – has been accredited to safely sell fruit and vegetables to residents and others who frequently travel into the area. More retailers are expected to be accredited early this year, including Coles Murray Bridge which are working towards achieving this by the end of January.

Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development David Basham said it was important to provide options to residents living on the edge of the PFA to safely move fresh produce.

“We recognise that many people living in small towns or with shacks along the River Murray would find it extremely difficult to travel significant distances within the PFA to get their fresh produce, and therefore it was important to accredit supermarkets in Murray Bridge,” Minister Basham said.

“People can buy fresh produce from these accredited retailers – Woolworths Murray Bridge now and Coles Murray Bridge in the coming weeks – and bring it into the Riverland PFA with an itemised receipt.

“This change is about encouraging people to do the right thing and protect the Riverland from the threat of fruit fly.

“Rules introduced in July 2021 stopping anyone bringing fresh fruit and vegetables that are at risk from fruit fly into the Riverland Pest Free Area caused unintended shopping challenges for some residents and regular visitors to the western border of the region.

“The State Government has investigated solutions to address these issues, and I’m very pleased to advise alternative options are now available. We will continue to encourage all residents within the PFA to shop within the Riverland PFA, but we also recognise that this is not always feasible.

“Home delivery is also an option, with retailers accredited to home deliver fruit and vegetables into the PFA including Barossa Fresh, Mannum Foodland, and Riverland Wholesale Fruit and Veg Supplies

“As Barossa Fresh and Mannum Foodland stock both accredited and non-accredited fresh produce you are not able to buy fruit and vegetables in-store to move into the Riverland Pest Free Area yourself – they are only available from these retailers through their home delivery service.

“People can also order fruit and vegetable from the Riverland Wholesale Fruit and Veg Supplies via some local stores, such as Walker Flat, Swan Reach and Blanchetown, and collect these when they arrive in store.

“We strongly encourage people who can shop locally to continue to support their local retailers inside the Riverland PFA. I know some shops within the Riverland PFA are increasing stock to support the Murraylands and Riverland community.

“The rules on what you cannot bring into the Riverland Pest Free Area are permanent and will continue in order to protect the region and its growers robustly. Therefore, we urge everyone to be aware of what they cannot bring into the region.

“PIRSA has worked closely with a number of retailers in these regions in developing and making these accreditations available to retailers.”

Retailers seeking more information on how to become accredited can contact the PIRSA Plant Health Market Access team on 8207 7814.

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