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ZERYA, the only certification of pesticide waste below 0.01 ppm

ZERYA is a private voluntary certification brand providing pesticide waste free products. It is based on a research project created by experts in the sector and led by a management and a technical committee. "It should be noted that under ZERYA rules, "waste free" entails a level of residues below 0.01 ppm," affirms Javier Arizmendi, COO of ZERYA.

The goal is to provide firms with highly qualified technical teams, through collaborative work and with the conviction that it is possible to produce safe food items that allow for a reduction of costs through rational product use, to minimise the risk of microbiological contamination, to reduce the levels of pesticide waste, to maximise product shelf life and to generate a sustainable and environmentally-friendly productive system able to meet both distributor and consumer expectations.

ZERYA is a private voluntary certification brand providing pesticide waste free products. It is based on a research project created by experts in the sector and led by a management and a technical committee. "It should be noted that under ZERYA rules, "waste free" entails a level of residues below 0.01 ppm," affirms Javier Arizmendi, COO of ZERYA.

The goal is to provide firms with highly qualified technical teams, through collaborative work and with the conviction that it is possible to produce safe food items that allow for a reduction of costs through rational product use, to minimise the risk of microbiological contamination, to reduce the levels of pesticide waste, to maximise product shelf life and to generate a sustainable and environmentally-friendly productive system able to meet both distributor and consumer expectations.

"With ZERYA, crops need fewer resources, generate a lower carbon footprint and protect, and even improve biodiversity in the agro-system, making them more sustainable, explains J Arizmendi. "Our rules were created to face the challenges of medium and long-term agricultural production. Immediately after its creation, we realised that it is the only certification allowing for the enforcement of Directive 2006/125/CE on children's food, which limits the level of pesticide waste to 0.01 ppm. Our system also complies with the RD 1311/2012 regarding sustainable phytosanitary use and will adjust to the criteria for sustainable production and environmental protection proposed for the future CAP reform in 2015."

The management and control of the proceedings, of management and production means, as well as product characteristics and control of the requirements for those wishing to use the brand, will be carried out by the institutions established in the regulations, which are supervised by a Supervision Committee, which will verify the transparency and independence of the brand.

The control system is done through an independent certification body auditing both the producers and the laboratory where samples are taken and analysed to verify that the regulations are being adhered to.

The certification is suitable for a great variety of fruit and vegetable crops, such as cucurbits (cucumber, courgette, melon, watermelon...), Solanaceae (tomato and pepper), leafy vegetables (lettuce, baby leaf, spinach, arugula, lamb's lettuce...), Brassicaceae (cauliflower, broccoli...), artichokes, tubers and roots, citrus, almonds and stone fruit. Currently in Spain the certification has been awarded to more than 3,000 hectares of lettuce, 1,000 of spinach, 900 of melons and watermelons, 700 hectares of broccoli and cauliflower, among other open-ground crops, while for greenhouse crops, around 350 hectares of tomatoes and over 200 of peppers are certified. According to J. Arizmendi, "the process is not going as quickly with fruit trees, in products such as citrus. The certification is very likely for the fruit juice industry's orchards, as the fruit goes straight from the field to the processing stage, but for fresh consumption, due to the importance of post-harvest treatments, the certification is more complicated, as we cannot always control the process before manipulation."

ZERYA works for the Spanish agricultural market and is getting started in France, with the goal to expand to other European countries. "Entering countries such as Belgium, the Netherlands or Germany would be easy, as the entity carrying out our audits is Dutch," explains J. Arizmendi. "Besides, our certified clients in Spain have worked hard to certify their plantations and have proved that waste free production can be profitable, which has raised interest and has started generating demand from our northern neighbours. For products such as leafy vegetables, Spain is one of Europe's main providers in the winter, while northern European countries produce during the summer. This leads to a consolidation of our system's expansion, as both industry and consumers perceive the certification as something positive and request product availability not to be interrupted."

Any producer, laboratory or phytosanitary product manufacturer may apply for the ZERYA brand certification after meeting certain general requirements, such as being GlobalGAP-certified (or similar) and other requirements specified in ZERYA'S General Regulations.


For more information:
Javier Arizmendi Ruiz
ZERYA Productos Sin Residuos S.L.
T: +34 902888261
jarizmendi@zerya.org 
www.zerya.org 



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