Development of an Industry Biosecurity Plan for the Australian Truffle Industry

Plant Health Australia Limited

  • Project code: PRJ-009387

  • Project stage: Closed

  • Project start date: Monday, November 3, 2014

  • Project completion date: Saturday, January 30, 2016

  • National Priority: NEPI-Industry building and connectivity


Truffle production is reliant on both the purity of the truffle fungus and the health of the trees on which they establish a symbiotic relationship. Australia’s freedom from many exotic pests (insects, disease causing pathogens, mites, nematodes and weeds) provides the truffle industry with significant production advantages. The truffle industry has specific requirements for biosecurity to maintain high quality truffle species as well as pest and disease free trees.

The development of an Industry Biosecurity Plan (IBP) and the identification of the industry’s most significant pests provides a mechanism for industries, in collaboration with governments, to identify, assess, and prioritise biosecurity threats and provides a framework for risk mitigation and preparedness activities. When combined with PHA membership and signing of the Emergency Plant Pest Response Deed (EPPRD) biosecurity planning provides an opportunity for industries to enhances their ability to prevent, report, and respond effectively to, pest incursions.

The scope of the truffle IBP would encompass all industry practices and would therefore extend beyond the direct biosecurity threats to the truffle to also identify the biosecurity threats to the range of host trees which support truffle growth. This process will allow the Australian truffle industry to take steps to improve its preparedness for exotic pests and better prioritise available resources. Planning activities to safeguard truffle production against exotic pest threats will ultimately ensure the long term sustainability of the industry and benefit the wider community.

PHA facilitates the development of each IBP in consultation with an Industry Biosecurity Group (IBG). The IBG is comprised of representatives from industry, government, and R&D organisations. Every IBP is jointly endorsed by the industry and all governments including DAFF, cementing the shared approach to protecting the industry.


New and Emerging Plant Industries

Research Organisation

Plant Health Australia Limited

Objective Summary

The development the Industry Biosecurity Plan (IBP) will provide a framework for biosecurity activities to be implemented at the national level. The identification of High Priority Pests assists with a range of biosecurity preparedness activities such as surveillance, grower awareness programs, and the development of diagnostic protocols, contingency plans, and on farm best practice biosecurity measures.
The Truffle IBP would be based on similar IBPs produced by PHA for its other plant industry Members. This proposal fits directly within the national research priority of ‘Safeguarding Australia and the Rural research priority of Biosecurity’. Specific objectives that would be addressed through the development of the IBP are:
•Identification of all exotic pest threats to the truffle industry, including analysis of the entry,
establishment and spread potentials together with the potential economic impact.
•Focused research of the industry’s highest priority pests.
•Guidance towards farm level biosecurity best practice.
•Identify surveillance activities undertaken and diagnostic capabilities that are available for
pests and diseases of the truffle industry.
•Prioritise biosecurity activity and future action items to provide direction for the allocation of
biosecurity resources within the industry and from governments.
•Identify those pests for which the potential threat is unknown and that require additional
•Establish what risk pathways and activities have the potential to impact the industries biosecurity pest
•Understand what biosecurity activity is undertaken at the national, state, industry and individual
grower levels