NKP and Rivoira sign historic agreement to develop two new yellow kiwifruit varieties

One of the two new varieties developed by the Yellow Kiwi Project

One of the two new varieties developed by the Yellow Kiwi Project

Rivoira and NewKiwiPlant (NKP) have signed an agreement to develop two new varieties of yellow-fleshed kiwifruit developed by NKP’s breeding programme with the University of Udine.

Under the terms of the deal, Rivoira will be the exclusive marketer of the two cultivars. The first is a long shelf-life kiwifruit and the other an early harvesting variety with high resilience against bacterial canker, one of the biggest problems facing producers around the world.

The agreement is a major milestone for the Yellow Kiwi Project, Rivoira’s collaboration with NKP which launched at this year’s Fruit Logistica in April.

“When we know that Italy alone has lost thousands of hectares of green kiwifruit systems and even more yellow kiwifruit due to bacterial canker and die-off, the opportunities for this yellow-fleshed kiwifruit project are enormous,” said Marco Rivoira, CEO of the Piedmontese-based Rivoira Group.

NKP chairman Pierfranco Quaranta said the deal represents a historic moment for the five partners who founded the consortium in 2008.

“The agreement signed today with Rivoira will launch a new global dimension of our yellow kiwifruit breeding and selection work which we have pursued for years with the University of Udine,” he commented.

“Consumer demand for yellow kiwifruit is growing globally, while production is unable to keep pace because of the agronomic difficulties, but with this project, and with these selected and readily available new varieties for commercial systems, we believe we have a real answer for growers.”

Rivoira added: “the significant strength of our offering is having two varietal selections available to producers, which provide real and immediate answers to agronomic challenges the industry is facing, combined with a superior quality and shelf-life”.

Quaranta said work would continue on the development of other innovative new selections of yellow varieties.

NKP is the union of five companies: Fitotechniki (Greece) and Vitroplant (Italy), both specialist nurseries with a micro-propagation laboratory, as well as kiwifruit grower-marketers Zeus Kiwi (Greece), Tuttofrutta Quaranta (Italy) and Zeoli Fruit (Italy).