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Escande testing numerous new apple varieties

A still unnamed apple variety, which ripens two weeks before the Gala and is fairly resistant to scab, is currently being tested by the French nursery Escande. Benoit Escande, owner of the company, explains that “it is a very sweet, firm and crunchy apple and has a very similar look to the Gala; the only drawback is that it is a summer apple that can only be stored for up to three months.”

This was one of the firm’s many varieties showcased at the recent edition of MacFrut, where other, more established apples were also displayed. “We also have a very shiny Red Delicious called KING®ROAT, which is mostly shipped to Eastern Europe and the Arabic market.”

As for the yellow varieties, Escande focuses mostly in the organic or residue free market “because there is no room in the conventional market for more yellow varieties, Golden Delicious with PARSI® stay the best” affirms Benoit. “The most interesting one in our entire range, whether organic or conventional, is the PIXIE®, which is a sister of the Crimson Crisp, but ripens two weeks earlier, has more aroma and is less susceptible to Rosy apple aphid.”

The range also includes red flesh apples developed in collaboration with the KIKU company, which will be marketed under the label Red Moon Surprise. “At the moment there is big interest for these apples from processors; it has a completely different taste and children really like them. The first 8 commercial hectares will be planted this winter.”
Another variety which, according to Benoit, has potential to work really well is a very early Fuji called FUJIYAMA. “This one has a very good balance between acidity and sugar and it requires weather conditions where it can acquire its colour, such as the north or the mountainous regions.”


When looking for new varieties, Escande pays attention to five points: productivity (regularity and large volumes), low cost of production, resistance to diseases, ease to work with in packaging houses and shelf life, “and of course, it needs to taste good! Consumer satisfaction is always the most important aspect.”

In addition its many innovations, Escande also has a range of established varieties, including the club apple Juliet. “The Juliet can only be grown as organic and it is only grown in France. This allows you to ship the fruit worldwide, to destinations such as Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, China, the Middle East, Brazil and Canada, among others.”

“Our strategy is to collaborate with good partners, because as we say in France, one good player can score a goal, but a good team wins the match,” concludes Benoit.

For more information:
Pépinières Escande
47 500 SAINT VITE (France)
Tel : +33 (0)5 53 71 22 13
Fax : +33 (0)5 53 40 87 26