Dec. 5, 2014
South Africa’s controls on pesticide residue of fruits exported to Europe provide a high level of confidence that the fruits meet EU standards, according to the report “An Audit Carried out in South Africa” which published by the European Commission’s Food and Veterinary Office (FVO).
This report describes the outcome of a Food and Veterinary Office (FVO) audit in South Africa, carried out between 09 and 18 September 2014. The objective of the audit was to assess controls on pesticide residues in pome fruit (apples and pears) and table grapes intended for export to the European Union.
Regular pre-export controls take place, including sampling for pesticide residues, which are performed by competent and knowledgeable inspectors. In addition to these official controls, comprehensive own controls are implemented by exporting Food Business Operators (FBOs) (growers and pack houses), which are further complemented by the pro-active approach undertaken by the relevant fruit industry.
Some minor shortcomings were identified, including: (i) the lack of a single source of information on authorised Plant Protection Products (PPPs) and their associated Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs), which makes enforcement at pesticide distributor and end user level difficult, and (ii) the limited analytical scope covered by the pesticide residue laboratories, which might result in the inability to identify certain pesticides, including relevant metabolites or degradation products. A systematic follow-up to Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) notifications has only recently been introduced.
The report makes a number of recommendations to the competent authorities, aimed at rectifying the shortcomings identified and enhancing the implementation of control measures.
Based on data from the Statistical Office of the EU, in 2013, South Africa was the third biggest exporter of fruit to the EU with a total of 1,173,843 tonnes, the biggest exporter of pome fruit with 263,062 tonnes (27.3% of total EU imports) and the second biggest exporter of table grapes with a total of 169,594 tonnes (20.5% of total EU imports).