As of this month, Summerfruit Australia Limited (SAL) is proud to officially announce the harvest of the first crop of Tōpa Fruit. Tōpa Fruit is a brand of Australian nectarine, licensed by Summerfruit Australia Limited to select grower members. Tōpa fruit is the first in a series of brands SAL we will be working on in the years to come all falling under the parent category brand of Natural Jewels.
SAL has been working for more than 18 months with leading brand agency Soto Group to deliver a research-led brand development process that is firmly targeted at the Asia markets. “The goal was to create a brand that, through elevated specifications, could deliver a premium for Australian Growers,” states Olivia Tait, Summerfruit Australia Limited. Tōpa fruit grower agreements in place ensure that only fruit of the highest quality is packed into the Tōpa brand.
“We started with qualitative workshops in Shanghai in February,” states grower Dean Morpeth, Sharp Fruit, speaking on behalf of a handful of SEDA members that have driven this project. “Then we verified the findings via quantitative surveys to China residents’ mid-year.”
Appointed growers for this year’s season include:
- Morpeth Farms
- VF Siciliano & Sons
- Cutri Fruit
- Mattina Fresh
“The timing of Tōpa is perfect for the Australian Summertime in January, when families are out enjoying the nice hot summer and perfect for our customers in China when they are enjoying the festivities of the Lunar New Year,” states Colleen Dangerfield, VF Siciliano & Sons.
“Most of this year’s crop will be heading for China,” states Frank Frappa, LPG Cutri Fruit. LPG Cutri Fruit and N&A form the two appointed export marketing partners for the coming season. “We have already received strong interest from customers right across the market, and with harvest looking strong we are looking forward to get some fruit to them,” continues Frappa, who has also formed a part of the working group that drove the overall brand project.
“When the working group originally approached us, we could tell this project was going to be special,” states Soto Group Cofounder Matthew Crouch, referring to Dean Morpeth, Sharp Fruit, Frank Frappa, LPG Cutri Fruit, and Michael Trautwein, QFM Variety Management. “They wanted something that the whole industry could get behind, and that had the legs to become a category house of brands.”
“Summerfruit Australia has long wanted to build brands that serve the widest grower group, elevating the premium quality Stonefruit Australia is known for on the world stage” states Olivia Tait, Summerfruit Australia. “It was great to see this project nurtured and championed from within by growers and marketers alike.”