The developers and licensees of a new apple variety out of New Zealand expect the offering to quickly become one of the country’s most popular pipfruit lines.
To be marketed as Dazzle, the PremA129 variety is a large, red, sweet apple developed by Plant & Food Research (PFR) at their station in Havelock North.
Officially launched today (20 December), the variety’s taste and appearance is expected to have wide appeal in the Far East.
“Dazzle is targeted towards the growing Asian markets,” explained Steve Potbury of Fruitcraft, which holds the worldwide licensing rights to the variety. “It has all the qualities, which appeal to Asian consumers. It is a big, highly coloured and very sweet apple.”
Fruitcraft is a marketing collaboration between three of New Zealand’s largest apple growers, Mr Apple, Bostock New Zealand and Freshmax. It was granted the master licensing rights to Dazzle’s production and marketing by pipfruit development company Prevar, which is owned by Australian and New Zealand growers and PFR.
According to a release issued by Fruitcraft and Prevar, all New Zealand apple growers will be able to grow Dazzle, and all fruit exporters will be able to sell it. Potbury said it was an exciting opportunity for growers in New Zealand and around the world.
“We want to work with all growers to ensure they can grow and market it through their preferred exporter. This is a collaborative approach, which gives growers the chance to be involved from the orchards to the markets,” Potbury said.
Over 100,000 Dazzle trees are already being grown across New Zealand, with nurseries preparing rootstocks for more orders in the New Year. Fruitcraft is forecasting 1m cartons of Dazzle will be exported from New Zealand by 2028.
Australian growers will have a similar opportunity to be involved with the Dazzle programmes in the near future, once the variety has been tested and proven in Australian conditions.
Further production around the world is also planned, with Fruitcraft looking to license international growers and marketers in the next year or two.
Prevar commercial manager Snow Hardy said Dazzle is a significant development for his company and the pipfruit industry around the world.
“There has been huge input into the Plant & Food Research breeding programme over the years and it’s now very exciting to roll out such a fantastic new variety to growers and exporters here in New Zealand and internationally. We are encouraging growers to get in behind this new apple variety and support this programme.”
Plant & Food Research scientist Richard Volz said Dazzle had been bred conventionally, through cross breeding between Sweetie and Scired at Havelock North in 1997.
“The parents and grandparents of the PremA129 variety all come from New Zealand,” Volz explained. “This has taken decades of work and investment by scientists at Plant and Food Research and the New Zealand pipfruit industry to develop a truly New Zealand apple with strong kiwi heritage.”