Modeling The Risks Associated With Increased Importation Of Fresh Produce From Emerging Supply Sources To The Uk
The risk of non-indigenous pests entering the UK via international trade in fresh produce is increasing. Suppliers of fresh produce to UK and EU multiple retailers are utilising new procurement areas for fresh produce importation to reduce their costs of production. The objective of this paper is to identify current and future supply sources for UK fresh produce importers and examine the extent to which they provide invasion pathways. The hypothesis that increased importation of fresh produce from new sources outside the EU could increase the risks of non-indigenous pests is tested in a bio-economic model in which the number of species detections per unit of imports is a function of the number of inspections per unit of imports and country of origin, while the volume of imports is itself a function of the gross domestic product, relative import prices, policy and seasonality variables. The study has identified clear trends, which show import volumes and pest species detections increasing from new supply sources. The study found that risk of pest species differs significantly with the country of origin of commodity. If this trend should continue in the future, then UK plant health inspectors should expect to confront pest species in much greater numbers. The results support the case for discriminatory policy to use the limited resources available in a way that will more closely target inspection efforts on the higher risk trade pathways.
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