The Tasmanian government has announced a deal between Tasmania’s Oak Enterprises and China-based company Orisis to establish and grow Ruby Pink apples in China, to commercialise in three to four years.
The Tasmanian disability service provider has told the ABC that the organisation, through its subsidiary Tahune Fields Nursery, would earn royalties from each Ruby Pink tree grown in China.
The Ruby Pink is a variety of the Cripps Pink cultivar, sold under the brand Pink Lady, with Ruby Pink apples not yet grown in China. If it all goes well, Paton said the money would go towards more services for people with disabilities, with another deal in the works for another apple variety.
"It could be anywhere between a million trees grown or even more," Oak Enterprise's John Paton told the ABC. “The turnover of trees is something in the order of 5m trees they need to plant each year, so it's a very, very big market and I think it's a great opportunity for Tasmania."
Tahune Fields Nursery is based in the Huon Valley, producing 200,000 young apple, pear and stone fruit trees each year, before sending them interstate, and now overseas, to be planted.
The deal was made during an Australian trade mission to China.
Tasmanian state premier Will Hodgman, who took part in the eight-day trade mission, said the deal was a demonstration of the innovation and enterprise of Tasmania, and a great way to showcase the state.
"We are seeing massive growth in exports of products, our fine food and beverages are well known, but we're also exporting great services and intellectual capacity," Hodgman said.