We are proud to announce that Australian macadamia producers have achieved 100% compliance in the 2013-14 National Residue Survey (NRS), making it 14 years in a row.
The survey report states, “This outstanding record continues to demonstrate that Australian macadamia producers use in-crop and post-harvest agricultural chemicals according to good agricultural practice. These results assure customers of the excellent residue and contaminant status of Australian macadamia nuts.”
The testing program is a cooperative arrangement between NRS and the Australian Macadamia Society. Our industry has participated in the program since 1996. Its overriding purpose is to monitor the residue status of Australian macadamias and assist growers in meeting the quality assurance requirements. Samples are collected from 10 processing plants across New South Wales and Queensland, twice a year. Each sample consists of one kilogram of kernel, and samples are collected by quality assurance staff at participating plants, in line with NRS collection protocols. Samples are then sent to testing laboratories contracted by the Australian Government for in depth analysis.
Each sample is screened for a wide range of chemical residues and randomly selected samples are also analysed for heavy metals.
The chemical screening standards are developed to account for a host of considerations including Australian registered chemicals, chemical residue profiles and market sensitivities that may impact international trade. Furthermore, the NRS monitors international maximum residue limits for those countries that represent major export markets for Australian primary producers.
The NRS is an initiative of the Australian Government Department of Agriculture aimed at minimising chemical residues and environmental contaminants in Australian food products. The program helps to reinforce Australia’s position as a producer of ‘clean’ food, in turn facilitating access to key domestic and international markets. It is underpinned by ISO 9001:9008.
The survey encompasses 58 participating industries including animal products, cereals, pulses, oil seeds and horticultural produce.
This year’s result is yet another testament to the incredible skill and hard work of the people in the farming and processing sectors of our industry, all of whom play a critical role in maintaining the quality of Australian grown macadamias.