Research into the economic benefits of reducing sprays and residues on export fruit has found that the apple industry earned up to $35 million more a year from the programme.
The Apple Futures research programme brought scientists and growers together to figure out how to reduce sprays and residues while producing export-quality fruit.
Analysis from the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research found that the research programme preserved $25 - $35 million a year of net income from 2008 to 2011. The research cost $3 million.
NZIER says exporters responded to demands from consumers, supermarkets and distributors in Germany and the UK and cut chemicals to one tenth of European Union maximum levels.