QS achieves gold status with QS-GAP standard for fruit and vegetable production
The Sustainable Agriculture Initiative (SAI) has reviewed the QS-GAP standard applicable to QS-certified producers of fruit and vegetables. In the course of the review, a comparison was made with the requirements of the benchmarking tool
Farm Sustainability Assessment 2.0 (FSA), which is regarded as an acknowledged reference for the promotion of sustainable agriculture. The result: the QS-GAP standard in combination with German legislation achieves the highest FSA equivalence rating for sustainability: Gold status.
Producers get direct access to the QS database
Farmers and producers will be able to directly access their data stored in the QS database. So far, this was only possible through the coordinator. With the personal access the farmer receives:
- read-only access to all the company-related data stored in the QS scheme’s data-bases, such as audit results and monitoring data, as well as
- information about access rights, meaning, which coordinator, certification bodies or – if consented - third parties have access to the data.
The 24th Laboratory Performance Assessment in Fruits and Vegetables confirms:
QS-approved laboratories are reliable
Since 2006, QS has tested the analytical quality of QS-approved laboratories with the QS laboratory performance assessment twice a year. In each of the 24 tests that have been conducted by now, the test design has been modified and the laboratories were always confronted with new challenges. That pays off: The laboratories improve their analytical skills continually and demonstrate their reliability in the analysis of pesticide residues over and over again. This year’s spring laboratory performance assessment also confirms – you can count on the analyses results of QS approved laboratories in the residue monitoring. 54 of the 60 participating QS-approved laboratories passed the challenges successfully, 23 of them with maximum scores (cf. figure). This creates reliability for all market participants – both in Germany and in neighboring European countries.
Fresh fruit and vegetables impress in residue analyses
QS and DFHV present 9th monitoring report at the 2018 Fruit Logistica
In the broad analysis spectrum of the monitoring programmes from both the QS Fachgesellschaft Obst, Gemüse, Kartoffeln GmbH (QS) and the Deutsche Fruchthandelsverband e. V. (DFHV), 26,771 fruit and vegetable samples from 73 countries were jointly evaluated. The results are more than impressive and show the reliable work of producers and marketers of fresh fruit and vegetables. 97.5 percent of all samples were below the legally required maximum residue levels (MRL) for plant protection products. 41.6 percent of all samples were completely free of any residues – a remarkable increase of 5 percentage points compared to the previous year.
Targeting Feed Safety
QS-Feed Monitoring-Report focuses on MOSH and MOAH
The consistently high level of feed safety is confirmed again: only 0.8 percent of the total number of 24,000 samples taken during the last testing period were conspicuous - the efforts of the animal feed sector pay off. And yet, the industry is regularly confronted with new challenges. Apart from the common parameters used in residue analysis, less familiar, but no less critical variables show up again and again. Currently, hydrocarbon compounds known as MOSH and MOAH, are the focus of industry attention.
QS random sample audits along the entire supply chain
Additional controls ensure scheme stability
In the coming months, more and more additional random sample audits will be taking place throughout the entire QS scheme. The randomly selected companies will be audited without advance notice and will face sanctions in the event of noncompliance with requirements.
Laboratory Performance Assessments in the QS Scheme
Execution quality of laboratories put to the test
The QS Laboratory Competence Assessment enables laboratories to identify problems and error sources and thus continuously improve the quality of their analyses, explains Dr. Gustav Offenbächer, assessor for residue analysis and quality control. The tests are specifically structured in such a way that weak points can be revealed and rectified. Evidence of this has been provided once again by the result of this year’s spring test in which, although 71% of the recognised laboratories passed, only a good third of them were completely error-free. QS-recognised laboratories did considerably better here than labs undergoing the recognition process (see Fig. 1).
Monitoring Report Fruit & Vegetables 2017 underlines strong sense of responsibility among producers
QS and DFHV present updated residue monitoring findings at the Fruit Logistica
The new issue of the Monitoring Report Fruit, Vegetables, Potatoes underlines once again the quality of the operations of producers in the QS scheme and of the suppliers to the member companies of the German Fruit Trade Association (DFHV). The residue levels of plant protection products were below the legal limit values in 97 percent of all tested samples. 36.6 percent of samples contained no residues of plant protection products at all – an impressive figure. At the same time, the Monitoring Report also identified potential for improvement in third countries.
DFHV and QS Publish Monitoringreport 2016
More than 26,000 samples analysed, producers’ good professional practice pays off
The consistent implementation of the provisions on the use of plant protection products and good professional practice on the part of the producers is paying off: Nearly 98 percent of all samples examined for pesticide residues were below the legal maximum limits. Over 43% of all fruit and vegetable samples analyzed showed no residues of plant protection products of any kind. As about 38 percent of the samples were completely residue-free the previous year, this means a further improvement of five percentage points. This result was arrived at by the jointly conducted evaluations of the monitoring programmes of QS Fachgesellschaft Obst-Gemüse-Kartoffeln GmbH (QS) and the German Fruit Trade Association (DFHV). The most important analysis results are summarised in the Monitoring Report 2016, which will be published in time for the Fruit Logistica trade fair in Berlin.
QS Laboratory Performance Assessment
Focus again on metabolite analysis – improvement measures showing effects
The pleasing result of the latest laboratory performance assessment is that 93 percent of the labs approved by QS satisfy the demands placed on them, thus raising the already high level of the last assessment even higher. The main focus of the autumn assessment was again me-tabolite analysis. The results confirm that the deficits of past years have been permanently rectified in this area.