Apple marketer Worldwide Fruit has said it plans to more than double exports of New Zealand apple variety Envy to Asia this year after successfully sending 2.5 containers to Singapore last year.
Speaking at last week’s National Fruit Show, technical director Tony Harding told FPJ that the company is taking a different approach this year, by giving growers specific standards for exporting Envy. The aesthetic qualities required by Asian markets, such as colour and skin finish, are different to European customers, he said.
Elsewhere, Harding said Jazz remains a primary focus for Worldwide Fruit and said the variety is performing “extremely well”.
“Jazz is performing extremely well, and it’s ahead of the market with returns and sales. It’s a nice crop from Europe and the UK. It looks very good and eating quality is very high,” he said.
On pears, the company has launched new early blush variety Qtee this year, which crops “very well” and arrives onto the market earlier than Conference. “It’s gone very well, we’ve sold small volumes of UK-grown fruit into Waitrose and some wholesalers. The season has just finished but we have high hopes for the future,” Harding said.
Speaking about the wider top-fruit market, Harding said the market has been “hard work” in recent weeks, although some varieties have bucked the trend.
“It has been particularly tough for red dessert apples and Cox, though other varieties are performing better. There is a strong appetite for Gala and Conference.
“We are trying to improve returns on last year, and so far so good. The value of the crop is reflected in the volumes that are out there.”