The Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment wants your help encouraging Australians to not plant fresh, dried or preserved plant-based goods that are bought for eating.

These goods have not undergone the same rigorous biosecurity testing as plant-based goods meant for planting. By planting them, people could get more than they bargained for!

Plant-based goods including fruit, herbs, vegetables, spices and seeds can carry pests and diseases. When their end use is planting, they face tight requirements to reduce the risk to an appropriate level. When their end use is eating, they don’t have to meet the same requirements as the risk is lower because they aren’t meant to be planted.

By planting plant-based goods bought for eating, people could unknowingly introduce pests and pathogens into their garden. If these pests and pathogens spread from their garden, they could have devastating effects for Australian agriculture and our unique environment.

Remember, the ‘Plate it. Don’t plant it.’ message applies to both imported goods and Australian grown produce. There are some pests and diseases in Australia that are restricted to certain states and territories, and we want to keep it that way.

So, this spring encourage your family, friends and community to ‘Plate it. Don’t plant it’ when it comes to plant-based goods meant for eating, and encourage them to buy their seeds, plants and propagatable plant material for the garden from reputable Australian suppliers.

For more information check out the department’s Plate it. Don’t plant it. website.