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'Love for Red' brightens apple market

"The cultivation period of the 'Love for Red' in the Northern hemisphere starts in March and ends in October. Differences in the harvesting period are based on the varieties. Basically, that is between mid-August and late October. The shelf life can last all the way up to Christmas and late-ripe varieties have a shelf-life that lasts even longer. But because the production volume is limited, the stock is actually sold out around the end of October," says Ms. Wang from Guonong Yuxing Beijing Agricultural Development. 

"When it comes to pricing, we actually have no real reference price yet. The new variety has only been around for two years and has only been sold in small quantities in China. But one thing is for sure, because the cultivation cycle of an apple orchard takes a long time, the variety will sell at a high price in the coming decade." 

A unique variety
"The reason why we selected the 'Love for Red' variety at the time, was that this specific variety is the best result for an apple with red fruit flesh from the breeding in the past 50 years. It is also the first European apple variety with red fruit flesh to progress into commercialised cultivation. Moreover, this variety has a very beneficial effect on people's health, which represents the future direction of research and development for apples."

Following standards for organic cultivation
"Our cultivation bases are located in Beijing, Nanyang and Xinjiang. The total cultivation surface is around 333 hectares. We use organic cultivation as the guideline for the use of fertiliser. The Beijing cultivation base mainly uses organic fertiliser that is derived from processed sheep manure from Inner Mongolia with an addition of imported fertiliser that is soluble in water. The Xinjiang cultivation base only uses a very small amount of fertiliser in the period when the fruit trees are young. Here we mainly use products from the grazing lands in the Tianshan mountain region near Xinjiang. An example is the sheep manure from the Bayin'Gholin grasslands. Adding organic bacterial manure and rotting plants give an organic fertiliser through natural fermentation. Like many fruits, the biggest threat in the cultivation process is the damage natural disasters can do to the young trees, such as hibernation and hailstorm management in Xinjiang." 

Expanding in China and beyond
"For sales, the production volume of this variety is very limited. Until next year, our production volume will be over 200 tons. Our product is a high-quality 'Love for Red' that's cultivated in Xinjiang. For now there are no plans to export, although customers from Peru, the Middle East and Central Asia expressed strong interest in cooperating during this year's international Fruit and Vegetable Exhibition in Beijing. Based on the current situation, we mostly consider selling to the high-end communities of Beijing, Canton and Shanghai in China. In the future, we will gradually move towards an expansion into the markets of the Middle East and Central Asia."

Favourable market prospects
"As it is, we have good hopes for the prospects in the future market. Our variety possesses a strong capacity to nurture health and it will be sought after by consumers on high-end markets all over the world. Apart from Europe and China, Australia in the Southern hemisphere has also just started commercialised cultivation, with an estimated market entrance in 2018."

"Compared to others in the business, the advantages of our industry is rather clear. First of all, we have a pure fruit variety and a long experience of putting the cultivation in practice. Secondly, our company is located in the best place for apple cultivation in the world, the Xinjiang production region. It is the largest 'Love for Red' cultivation region in China. What's more, we possess advanced apple cultivation management technology and a horizon that extends beyond China."

Ms. Wang
Guonong Yuxing Beijing Agricultural Development Co., Ltd.
Telephone: +86 10 6572 0897

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