ENZAFOODS in conjunction with the growers have developed guidelines for growing practices that are safe, sensible, and sustainable. They are based on the internationally recognised principles of Integrated Fruit Production, Integrated Pest Management, and Grow safe practices.
The growing of apples in New Zealand is strictly controlled to ensure that world leading practices are used in the production of our apple crop. New Zealand is at the fore front of agrichemical controls, growing techniques and traceability of every carton of apples that leave our shores. These controls meet the toughest of standards demanded by buyers from around the world.
Many of the controls are industry initiatives as well as requirements from the New Zealand Government.
The first step in the process is a requirement that all growers are registered with the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF) and are issued with an Individual Registration Number known as an “Rpin”. The unique registration number is used on all documentation related to fresh fruit production.
Is a management standards program developed in Europe for fruit & vegetables. It combines Good Agriculture Practices, Integrated Crop Management (ICM) and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices.
The GLOBALGAP standard is primarily designed to reassure consumers about how food is produced on the farm by minimising detrimental environmental impacts of farming operations, reducing the use of chemical inputs and ensuring a responsible approach to worker health and safety as well as animal welfare.
The GrowSafe Programme has been developed as part of the Integrated Fruit Production (IFP) philosophy. This is an official training course for the safe, responsible and efficient use of Agrichemicals. All export growers must have a GrowSafe Certificate that is renewed every five years.
Integrated Fruit Production (IFP) is an approach to pest and disease control, which includes the effective monitoring of chemical use. It also encourages non-chemical controls where possible.
The products approved for use in the Pip Sure IFP programme have undergone extensive testing for suitability in the programme. They are “soft” products with low mammalian toxicity, target specificity and as far as possible are environmentally benign.
NZ targets nil residues and we typically achieve nil detects or results significantly less than 10% of the target regulatory MRL’s.
The IFP goals have been:
• Eliminate broad spectrum insecticides
• Support selective pest management
• Support responsible use of fertilizers
• Support reasonable use of water
Under IFP all production sites are traceable, inputs are traceable to the sub areas within the production site sites and post harvest handling in the pack house and cool storage is traceable back to production site harvest bins. In the pack house, production site is identified on carton end labels ensuring trace back on individual cartons of fruit.
www.pipfruitnz.co.nz is the grower body for Pipfruit growers in New Zealand and is responsible for establishing standards for the Pip fruit industry. Each year they issue a list of chemicals approved for use on pipfruit in New Zealand.
Approved chemicals are reviewed continuously and new chemicals have to go through a testing period, which includes local field trials before approval is granted. This could take between three and five years.
For each approved chemical a Withholding Period is set. The Withholding Period is determined from chemical decay rates observed in actual, local field trials and compared with work overseas. This takes account of Maximum Residue Levels (MRL) for different countries and determines the last date that a given chemical can be used.
All growers record their use of Agrichemicals in an electronic spray diary. (PCR) The Pest Control Records (PCR) is submitted to Agriquality for verification. If the standards have been met, a certificate is issued and harvest of the fruit can begin.
If a violation is noted then the fruit from that orchard is submitted for a residue test at the Agri quality labs before harvest or the fruit is held in store until it is cleared for packing.
The certificate states the date on or after which harvest can occur and the clearance is crosschecked at the pack house before being accepted.
In addition to the Agrisure controls at orchard level, an extensive random sampling regime is in place.
Product from 25% of all orchardists is checked in the backhouses on a cyclic basis. Agriquality people remove 30 apples from selected orchards’ fruit in the pack house. This material is then sent to Agriquality for the complete residue analysis.
On submission to the pack house, the bins of apples are checked against a database to ensure that the fruit has been cleared for harvest. Apple submissions to the pack house are identified in terms of their Rpin, lot number, variety, harvest date and destination country.
Once submitted each bin of apples can be traced through the system for orchard to market.