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It will be marketed in several countries including Peru.

Westfalia has new superior avocado than Hass

Westfalia Fruit Estates (Pty) Limited, a leading and world pioneer company in research, production, processing and marketing of avocados, has developed a new variety of avocado that outperforms Hass. It is superior in organoleptic quality and matures later so it can be stored in the tree for a prolonged period of time, allowing a post harvest, and consequently, a rear window for marketing.

Called GEM, and also known as "3-29-5", this new variety was developed by researchers at the University of California (UCR), Riverside, USA. The University gave Westfalia Limited the primary license exclusively for GEM. (http://newsroom.ucr.edu/2635).
Based in South Africa and part of the Hans Merensky Group Holdings, Westfalia Limited puts its Westfalia Technological Services (WTS) division in charge of avocado research. In Latin America, Peruvian, Michael Horney is the General Manager of Westfalia (Michael.Horney@westfaliafruit.com) and Consuelo Fernandez is the Agricultural Engineer of WTS responsible for overseeing the development of 'Avocado GEM' ('3-29-5') and other developments in Chile and the rest of Latin America.
The Tree and the Fruit
From the extensive plantations for testing carried out primarily in California and South Africa, it is known that avocado GEM is produced in a semi-compact shaped tree. The GEM typically grows in the inside of the tree, mostly in clusters, protecting the fruit from sunburn and wind damage. The tree's growth is compact, making it easier to manage, especially for plantations with high density. Also GEM avocado trees are less likely to "toggle" than Hass trees. This variety has favorable distribution sizes, being slightly larger than 'Hass'. Its skin changes from dark green to an attractive dark purple-black when ripe. With respect to the final quality of the fruit, an independent tasting panel in the United Kingdom called GEM avocado a eating better organoleptic quality than that in Hass.                                         

Growth Environment
In South Africa, Westfalia Technological Services stated that the fruit GEM or "3-29-5" matures later than Hass, and may be stored in the tree by a prolonged period of time, enabling a subsequent onset of harvesting and, consequently, a rear window of commercialization. South Africa Westfalia has successfully cultivated GEM eight weeks after the end of the Hass season. Currently, GEM Avocado trials in camps of avocado growers in Chile are controlled by Westfalia, seeking to establish the seasonality and quality of this new fruit under Chilean climatic conditions.
Legal Protection
Plant patents currently protect the GEM "3-29-5" in all major avocado producing countries (including Chile) to safeguard the variety against illegal propagation. The illegal cultivation and the unauthorized trade of fruit or genetic material of GEM Avocado ('3-29-5'), shall be punished criminally, the company said.
Outside Chile, Westfalia is in the process of hiring avocado producers and marketers for GEM avocados ('3-29-5 ') in Australia, Brazil, Colombia, the European Union, Israel, Morocco, New Zealand, Peru and other countries to ensure the availability throughout the year of this promising variety and development of cultivating GEM ('3-29-5 ') at its maximum potential.
In South Africa, Westfalia's plans for GEM is to market it at the end of the traditional season of the avocado crop, focusing initially on the domestic market. For this Westfalia will market GEM through one of the leading high range chains. Outside South Africa, the company will explore markets for GEM as a pre-ripened avocado of superior eating quality, mainly through leading chains.

Source: Agronegocios.org

Publication date: 5/2/2012


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