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New Standards set for NZ Apples

January 24 2005

New Standards set to keep NZ Apples the best in the World

The New Zealand Pipfruit Industry has set new quality standards to ensure its fruit remains the best in the world.

The quality standards are in direct response to concerns from within New Zealand and from international markets that the quality of New Zealand’s export crop maybe slipping under deregulation.

Pipfruit New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Peter Beaven said today the new industry driven set of Best Practice Guidelines and Harvest Decision Tree covers production, harvest coolchain and packing.

“Since deregulation there has been criticism of the grade and quality standards of export pipfruit.

“There have been claims that there has been a lowering of fruit standards and this tends to be supported by the fact that extraction rates for export are up by 10 percent since deregulation,” Mr Beaven said.

“Too many marginal fruit are ending up in export cartons. Given we are working in a deregulated market the standards we are set are not compulsory but we are making a serious commitment to our offshore customers.

“We hope that all exporters will adopt the guidelines as a minimum requirement for premium grade export fruit – it is the way of the future,” he said.

Effective management throughout the whole process from orchard to consumer is essential to fruit quality.

“For the first time we have codified the guidelines so they are strongly grower focussed. It is too late when the fruit arrives at the packhouse – quality must begin on the tree and when growers are making their harvest decisions.

The guidelines have been developed by Pipfruit New Zealand, responsible for industry- good functions, in association with growers, post harvest operators and exporters. They are available to all members on Pipfruit New Zealand’s website, www.pipfruitnz.co.nz.

They cover production, harvest, cool chain and packing of pipfruit and will send a positive message to the international market.

“Our aim is to continue to be the leading supplier of quality pipfruit and this is a positive step in that direction,” he said.

ENDS


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