LIFE+ Zero Residues Project Summary

By: Transfer LBC

Co-financed by the LIFE+ program of the European Union this project aims to improve the sustainability and quality of stone fruit production to create a more competitive and healthier sector. Nowadays, consumers demand high quality and healthy products without pesticides; therefore, supermarkets have reacted on this and force suppliers to adopt sustainable production methods. Zero residue production methods for vegetables are widely available and already demanded by retailers in Europe. However, these methods are not yet available for stone fruit.

The team consists of nine members of two different member states of the EU (Spain and The Netherlands). All members are experts in their field and the project will merge their experience, which will lead to the development of the “Zero Residues” (ZR) production method for stone fruit. Furthermore, the project will improve the sustainability of the complete chain, which means beginning with the production and ending with consumer acceptance. Therefore, the development of the ZR methodology in this project also addresses the adaptation of processing, post harvest conservation, and how to increase the awareness and promotion of healthy stone fruit in the market. Besides, it will improve several environmental problems, for example integrated pest management will drastically reduce pesticide doses, soil degradation and ground water pollution.

The ZR methodology will secure the same or better fruit quality and will ensure visual acceptance by consumers. Besides, postharvest shelf life will be increased by applying innovative micro perforated packaging and controlled atmosphere for long term storage. Furthermore, the remaining waste, due to quality imperfections, will be treated with new techniques. In this way the products become interesting for baby food factories and may lead to new sales channels.

The demonstration of the new approach to produce, conserve, commercialize and process stone fruits without residues will set a new trend in (stone) fruit production, with higher quality, higher attractively and healthier fruit at a competitive price. Furthermore, a certificate will be developed, which can only be obtained if the production meets the Zero Residues requirements. All knowledge will be made available to other producers in order to spread the knowledge as much as possible.

To view a more detailed summary, click here.

To view the project website, click on one of the links below: - English - Spanish