Apple and pear growers say a three year project to reduce chemical residues in their fruit has been an outstanding success.
The $2.5 million project funded by New Zealand Trade & Enterprise and Pipfruit New Zealand has just finished.
More than two-thirds of pipfruit growers joined the scheme, committing themselves to reducing the use of chemicals.
Project chairman Julian Raine told a Pipfruit New Zealand conference in Nelson, that growers are producing good quality export-grade fruit with residue levels at less than 10% of the maximum levels allowed in Britain and Europe.
He says it is impossible to achieve a zero chemical residue, but New Zealand's standards will help its fruit maintain a premium position in overseas markets.