Partnering to grow agricultural trade between the Pacific and Australia


From left-right: PHAMA Plus Biosecurity and Environmental Safeguards Adviser Tanuvasa Semy Siakimotu, Australia’s Chief Plant Protection Officer, Dr Gabrielle Vivian-Smith, PHAMA Plus Deputy Team Leader Michael Parker, Director – Pacific Engagement and International Plant Health, Dr Sophie Peterson and PHAMA Plus National Facilitator Fiji Navitalai Tuivuniwai at the Holiday Inn Suva.

JOINT MEDIA RELEASE28 October, 2020: The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (the department) and the Pacific Horticultural and Agricultural Market Access Plus program (PHAMA Plus) are working together in partnership to help grow agricultural trade between Pacific Island countries and Australia, through improved biosecurity, market access and food security outcomes.

An updated Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was recently signed which reinforces the successful long-standing partnership between the department and DT Global as the managing contractor of the PHAMA Plus program.

In signing the MoU, Australian Chief Plant Protection Officer, Dr Gabrielle Vivian-Smith said: “This MoU will enhance our collaboration to grow agricultural trade between Australia and the Pacific Island countries by strengthening the partnership between the department and PHAMA Plus program.”

Through this partnership, the department and the PHAMA Plus program will continue supporting Pacific Island exporters to comply with Australian biosecurity requirements; strengthen the capacity of biosecurity authorities through training and knowledge-sharing; and support biosecurity processes, including surveillance and emergency preparedness.

PHAMA Plus Team Leader Andrew Piper said with the reopening of borders and easing of COVID restrictions, it is critical to support economic recovery, particularly in the Pacific Island agriculture and horticulture sectors that underpin both food security and trade.

“This refreshed MoU strengthens the partnership between PHAMA Plus and the department and provides our collective partner biosecurity authorities and exporters with access to complementary technical support that helps us to achieve our ultimate goal of improving rural household income in the Pacific,” Mr Piper said.

“Under the MoU the partners will be working together on priorities including improved awareness and understanding of the regulatory requirements to export to Australia, strengthening biosecurity preparedness and systems in the Pacific region, and conducting regular monitoring to ensure the support being provided is effective.”

The partnership covers countries which PHAMA Plus has had long-standing engagement: Fiji, Papua New Guinea (PNG), Samoa, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Tonga, as well as countries relatively new to PHAMA Plus that have joined under Australia’s Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations Plus (PACER Plus) commitment (currently the Cook Islands, Kiribati, Tuvalu and Niue).


For enquiries, please contact:  

Lennard Powell                                                                                                 DAFF Media Team
PHAMA Plus Program Manager                                                        
Biosecurity, Quality and Standards                                                            02 6272 3232
+679 970 1464


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