The apple and pear industry has once again demonstrated its commitment to food safety and minimising residues with the latest National Residue Survey results showing a 98 per cent compliance level in apples and pears tested in 2016-2017.
Every year the National Residue Survey tests Australian apples and pears for a range of chemical residues and environmental contaminants. It has been operating since 1998 and is funded by the statutory levies on apples and pears.
From January 2018 it will be expanded to include microbiological and metal screening in addition to the pesticide residue analysis already in place.
The apple and pear programme covers random residue monitoring which ensures the industry can meet quality assurance and certification requirements for domestic and international markets.
Approximately 300 to 400 apple and pear samples are collected each year at packing sheds and wholesale markets. Samples are selected from participating producers with the aim to establish a nationwide spread of samples covering as many producers as is practicable each year.
Chemical screens are developed in consultation with the industry and take into account Australian registered chemicals, chemical residue profiles and overseas market requirements.
In 2016-17, a total of 248 apple samples and 99 pear samples were collected and analysed, and the results were compared with the relevant Australian Standards. The overall compliance rate in this period was 98 per cent for both apples and pears.
Over the past 10 years the Australian apple and pear industry has shown a high degree of compliance with Australian Standards. This demonstrates that the industry uses in-crop and post-harvest agricultural chemicals in accordance with good agricultural practices.