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New Zealand Plant Protection 68 (2015): 282-290

Apple Futures: New Zealand's low pesticide residue apple production programme

J.T.S. Walker, N.M. Park and M.R. Butcher

ABSTRACT

Apple Futures was a 3-year initiative (2008-10) to implement a low pesticide residue production system for New Zealand apple growers targeting European Union (EU) supermarket food safety initiatives. Its objectives included reducing pesticide residues to ≤10% of the EU maximum residue limit and a maximum of three residues detected in any sample. By 2010, >65% of export crops were grown following the Apple Futures programme that maximised early season disease management, re-positioned all pesticide use to minimise residues and increased use of non-insecticidal methods. No insecticide residues were detected in 72% of crops while the remainder had very low residues. New Zealand's maritime climate restricted disease management outcomes; low residues of captan were found in most crops, only 9% had no fungicide residues. An economic analysis of Apple Futures found no impact on production costs, while it preserved $113M in market revenue from EU exports between 2008 and 2011.

Keywords: New Zealand apples, Apple Futures, insecticides, fungicides, residue profile.

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