You often see new varieties introduced in the apple world. It's less common in pears. Kris Wouters, exporter and fruit grower speaks about the new variety Celina, with the brand name QTee. It has a red blushed appearance and is intended for marketing when there is no Forelle on the market. "There are other pear varieties, but we think we have something special with QTee."

Wouters has known the variety for a number of years and holds half of the share of the variety worldwide. The other partner is the ABCz Group, which includes three companies. "This winter the first serious amounts of trees were planted. Besides Belgium there will also be trees in Spain, Switzerland and South Africa. We recently signed a contract with the partners in these countries." He indicates that the idea behind QTee is to market a pear that will be present when there is no Forelle from South Africa available. "South African Forelle have generally good prices and are on the market from March until the end of August. We will have QTee in the period in between and this is why South Africa is showing interest."

More markets than Conference
The first 40 tonnes were picked this year. "The pear is very fruitful and comes into production quickly. The colour is even better than that of the Forelle. We hope to have a lot more volume next year," he says enthusiastically. "We are mainly focussing on the markets that are also interesting in Forelle. This variety is mainly sold in England, Scandinavia and Russia. We are expecting to reach even more markets with this. Last year there was an introduction in Belgium and the trade responded very optimistically. We notice that it is difficult for Conference to find new markets. There isn't always a positive response to its appearance. We think we will reach more markets quicker with this nice red pear. The future will show, but they way it's looking now there is certainly enough enthusiasm for QTee. We haven't planted anything new as a fruit grower, but we planted 10 hectares of QTee this winter, because we believe in it. We have great faith that there is a future for a pear with the qualities of QTee."

For more information:
Kris Wouters
Wouters Fruithandel
Kasteellaan 21
3454 Rummen - Belgium
Tel: +32 11586190
Fax: +32 11581041