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potential over-supply imminent
Improved selections improve marketing options for Pink Lady

One of the strengths of the Pink Lady™ brand is that it is based on a trademark not simply the Cripps Pink variety. This allows the fruit of other improved selections of the Cripps Pink variety to be brought under the trade mark and, when it meets the quality criteria, to be sold as Pink Lady™ apples.

Most people connected with the Pink Lady™ business are aware of the new selections of Cripps Pink that are coming into production. There are three that are widely recognised – Rosy Glow, Ruby Pink and Lady in Red. All are improved selections from Cripps Pink and, in general, all produce apples with a larger area of pink blush. In some the pink colour is also obtained when the fruit is less mature than it is with Cripps Pink.

The new selections will help keep the brand alive. In effect they offer the opportunity to release a “new model” of our product without loosing the huge investment we have made in establishing the brand and the systems that support it.

However, because these selections solve one of the production problems of Cripps Pink (the difficulty in obtaining the 40 per cent pink blush required to meet the quality specifications) they also offer a threat of overproduction. Packouts of Pink Lady™ apples from orchards of the selected varieties will be higher than from similar orchards of Cripps Pink. This makes new plantings more attractive and if left unmanaged could lead to substantial global plantings. As with so many cases in the past, the best way to destroy the premiums associated with a particular variety of fruit is to over produce it.

The IPLA wishes to proactively manage the future development of the Pink Lady™ production base in order to avoid production which significantly exceeds demand. To protect against this scenario, IPLA and the trademark owners will endeavour to manage the rate of planting of improved selections. A few options for achieving this goal are currently being considered by the IPLA Executive.

In the mean time, APAL is considering how to model the growth in global production of Pink Lady™ apples and the markets they will be sold on. Such a model is a necessary first step towards managing production of Pink Lady™ - the world’s best apple.

Source: Pink Lady News, November 2007

Publication date: 12/7/2007


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