Pipfruit development company Prevar has licensed the PremA129 apple variety to Australian grower-packer-marketer Jeftomson.
Marketed under the brand name Dazzle, the new variety – a product of the New Zealand Plant and Food Research breeding programme – is a high-coloured, sweet, firm and juicy apple, according to Jeftomson general orchard manager Brent Reeve.
“Dazzle colours in the heat, stores well, and will be excellent for both domestic and export markets,” Reeve told peak industry body Apple & Pear Australia.
The move marks Jeftomson’s first foray into managed-varieties. It has already planted 10,500 trees across its orchards in the Goulburn Valley, with another 20,000 to go in the ground next winter.
A further 50,000 trees are set to be planted in subsequent years, while there are plans to licence the variety to selected growers from all production regions in Australia.
“We will initially be capping Dazzle to 220ha,” Reeve said. “Trees will be available from ANFIC nurseries in 2020. We plan to have the first fruit on supermarket shelves in 2022 and by 2030 are expecting to have 700,000 cartons.”
In New Zealand and globally outside Australia, Dazzle is licensed to Fruitcraft NZ, a marketing collaboration between Mr Apple, Bostock New Zealand and Freshmax.
Earlier this year, Fruitcraft signed a US licensing agreement with Washington State growers Chelan Fruit and Gebbers Farms.
Jeftomson will now work with Fruitcraft to coordinate a worldwide export programme. Prevar commercial manager Snow Hardy said the company was delighted to have a reputable and longstanding company as its Australian licensee, and encouraged growers to support them with this new apple variety.
“It is very exciting to roll out such a fantastic new variety to Australian growers,” Hardy said.