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Roger Horak - United Exports Group
Early Blue and OZ peach varieties get new investment
The company's Early Blue and OZ Peach were established to commercialise certain blueberry and stone fruit varieties bred by Mazzardis. They were previously owned by entities under the control of Peter Rolfe and Dave Mazzardis, and the deal will see Roger Horak purchasing all of Rolfe’s interests in the two companies, thereby partnering up with Dave Mazzardis.
OZ Peach owns the rights to a number of commercially successful, low-chill peach and nectarine varieties, which have been licensed in a number of different territories. Roger believes that these genetics have not been exploited fully, and the investment is aimed at further expanding their successful roll-out and establishment.
"These varieties are exceptionally low-chill and have proven successful in what can only be described as non-traditional stone fruit growing climates. We believe that this space has not been fully developed and see a huge opportunity for producing these varieties across a range of new territories."
The Early Blue programme is made up of Southern Highbush, an evergreen blueberry variety that has already gained significant traction and has been established in Australia, South Africa, Europe, Chile, Peru, Mexico and the United States.
Even though Early blue only owns genetics bred up to 2012, Roger believes that they are world class, and a number of customers and large producers believe that they are some of the best varieties currently available.
"Their evergreen nature has meant that these varieties lend themselves to successful production in warm climates, where they have been proven to produce abnormal yields when compared to other varieties. Besides their adaptability and high yields, the genius of what Dave Mazzardis has been able to achieve is that the fruit from these varieties is firm, crunchy, sweet, large in size and most importantly has a very good flavour."
The Early Blue programme includes commercialised varieties such as Oz Magnifica, Oz Julieta, Oz Bella, Oz Magica, Oz Bonita and Oz Monica, all of which have been endorsed by the major retailers around the world. Roger sees significant roll-out and expansion of these varieties as they gain notoriety, with over 1000 hectares already planted, and confirmed orders for a further 1000 hectares to be planted next year. He believes this is just the first step in what is still to come.
Roger’s investment in the programme was not just based on a financial return, but with the aim of creating a developing, co-ordinated plan for the Early Blue material, alongside the newer genetics bred by Dave Mazzardis, after 2012. With both programmes controlled by Dave and Roger, they believe that they can ensure the genetics are promoted and developed in the most effective and successful way, and are extremely excited by the opportunities still to come.
For more information:
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