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Gabrielle Easter



End of era for Hawke’s Bay’s oldest apples

Bostock New Zealand has pulled out some of its oldest trees to make way for sweeter, high-colour varieties

End of era for Hawke’s Bay’s oldest apples

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The days are numbered for some of Hawke’s Bay’s oldest apple trees as Bostock New Zealand makes way for newer varieties.

Organic apple grower-exporter has pulled out its oldest trees in the region, including Fuji apple trees planted by owner John Bostock over 30 years ago.

“Standard Fuji’s days have been numbered for quite a while now; they are a sweet apple but it’s very hard to get good colour on them. The Asia markets are demanding bright red apples, so we need to meet this demand,” Bostock said. “For the last five years we have been getting feedback from Asia markets, they want the sweet taste with the bright red visual appeal.”

The new sweet, juicy apple varieties include Premier Star, TCL3 and Kingsbeer Red.

Bostock said it’s an exciting step forward, with the newer varieties higher-yielding and able to be planted closer together, meaning better use of the land.

“You can get two or three times the number of trees in the same area to intensify yields and still focus on quality,” he said. “Some of the new varieties are also developed to reduce blemishes on fruit.  We are commanding a premium price, we have to give offshore consumers a premium product.”

Bostock New Zealand now ships to eight markets in Asia, with growing demand for organic produce.

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