New Zealand leads the world in the production of safe, healthy and sustainable food.

Plant science technologies have helped farmers to double global food production over the last 50 years. Food production must continue to increase – with an estimated 70 percent increase needed to meet rising demand for food by 2050.

Our members work with food chain partners to achieve the lowest possible residues in food. The Ministry for Primary Industries tests food for residues of hundreds of agricultural compounds, veterinary medicines and environmental contaminants - and confirms that New Zealand follows good practice in using agricultural compounds and veterinary medicines. Residue levels are many times below levels that would be a risk to consumers.

What is a residue?

A residue is a very small trace of an agricultural compound, such as a pesticide, that remains on a crop or in animal products.

How much is in our food?

Many foods do not contain residues. When they do occur, foods are still safe to eat as residue levels set by New Zealand legislation are well above any level of concern and include a wide safety margin.

See the regulation on pesticide residue on the Ministry for Primary Industries website:

Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) for Agricultural Compounds

Keeping residue levels low

Agcarm and food chain partners work towards achieving the lowest possible pesticide residues in food.

All products entering the food chain undergo a rigorous assessment to examine the residues that remain in food products, and weigh it against the minimal risks they pose.

We are committed to clear and concise labelling instructions and training schemes to ensure residues are kept at extremely low levels – typically as low as one part million.

We also want access to new products which have lower residue levels.
International perspective

Summary of maximum residue limits (MRLs) in respect to global trade

Industry white paper: Challenges to Establishing Harmonized MRLs for Facilitating Global Trade