Pink Lady Development and Apple and Pear Australia Limited (APAL) have appointed Dubai-based LucaZara as the licensing and market development agency for Pink Lady in the Middle East. The move comes as the pair look to position Pink Lady as a premium quality offering in the region.
“Often used as an exit strategy for low specification fruit, our first and most challenging goal is to identify and work with players within the region who are committed to growing the Pink Lady brand within the Middle East,” explained APAL’s head of commercial and brand development, Craig Chester, via the APAL website. “The starting point will be ensuring minimum Pink Lady standards are committed to by our chosen licensed importers.”
LucaZara is headed-up by David O’Brien, a veteran of the fresh produce businesses who also led the design and build of the Al Aweer markets in Dubai.
Chester visited the Middle East last week to meet with key players in the region and introduce the new partnership.
“Having this representation in the region was viewed very positively by all key players,” said Chester. “With LucaZara, I met with key retailers Carrefour, Spinneys/Waitrose, LuLu, Choitrams, Geant, Union Coop, as well as quality importers Fresh Fruits Co, Kibson’s, Barakat and TFC. At the meetings we discussed new import protocols aimed at improving quality and support for the brand within the region.”
The Middle East currently imports over a million tonnes of apples each year, with APAL hopeful the new partnership will provide a platform to introduce other Australian pipfruit varieties.
“We feel that given the inherent quality of Australian fruit, there is a greater role for Australian Pink Lady in improving quality perceptions and growing the market,” explained Chester. “Over time we hope this partnership with LucaZara in the region can become a launch platform for other commercial ventures for Australian apple and pear growers.”
The Pink Lady trademark is owned and managed by APAL via Coregeo Australia.