Commercial volumes of Jazz will reach 500,000 cartons for the first time this year in line with a production target of six million to 10m cartons by 2012.

“From now on volumes will double every year and that’s very good because it’s a wonderful apple,” said Tony Fissette, md of Enzafruit New Zealand (Continent) NV, which owns the Jazz apple brand. “This year there was limited [commercial] volume in the UK, but from next year on bigger volumes are coming from the UK.”

There are 215,000 Jazz trees under production in the UK, but trees are young and significant commercial volumes from the UK are not expected until 2008.

Jack Sowerby, Hawke’s Bay grower and group company secretary for Turners & Growers, said: “The plan is to have six million to 10m cartons worldwide, but that’s a long-term plan. Six million cartons should be under production by 2012. It should all be planted by 2009.” Visitors to the Enza stand were treated to a Jazz cocktail.

The vodka, elderflower, Jazz apple juice and sparkling white wine mix certainly livened up the conversation.

And Sowerby told FPJ that a new, “later, sweeter and redder” version of Jazz is exciting growers in pre-commercial trials. “There are 2,500 trees [of the un-named variety] in the ground now and there will be 10,000 by the end of 2007,” he said. “We hope there will be 100,000 planted by the end of 2008. It is a similar variety to Jazz, but its added sweetness should make it very attractive to the US and Asian markets, which will make it a good complement.

“The brix levels are astonishing - my fruit is already at 12 this season and we are not picking yet. It will also be released to growers elsewhere when trials are completed and it will be trialled in the UK.