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Zespri red kiwifruit two years from commercial introduction

According to Zespri, the world is waiting for a good red kiwifruit. And surely, the national exporter hopes to deliver just that, in a couple of years. Visitors to the Zespri site can already sample the attractive red fruit, but it's taking time to fine-tune its commercial introduction, and to make the fruit viable from orchard right through to consumer markets, says chief executive Dan Mathieson.

"It's an exceptional piece of fruit with strong consumer attraction, but we're still struggling with storage [time], he said. The target storage time is twelve weeks, Zespri is currently at eight.

Currently, the sweet fruit is two years into a five-year pre-commercial trial stage. Years of red fruit plant development by Zespri was wiped out by the Psa disease epidemic in 2010-2011 and while the Zespri Red was not immune to the disease, it put up a good fight against it, a spokesperson said.

When it is commercialised, the red fruit will be able to be grown in all New Zealand kiwifruit areas except for the South Island and Whangārei. These areas escaped the Psa scourge and no new plant material can be taken into them.

Publication date: 6/14/2018


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