Jazz apples’ low returns frustrate New Zealand growers

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Jazz apples’ low returns frustrate New Zealand growers

Low returns on the Jazz apple variety -despite exclusive sales rights- have growers in New Zealand mulling changing varieties, said local news site Bay of Plenty Times.

Paul Thomas, of Thomas Brothers Orchard, Packhouse and Coolstore Complex, is quoted as saying the apple is bringing in less than the cost of production for the second year in a row.

The variety is sold and marketed exclusively through Enza, a subsidiary of Turners & Growers, which holds the plant variety rights. That exclusivity has not alleviated the losses, Thomas said, according to the website.  The strong New Zealand dollar has also hurt returns, he said.

"Growers down here are pretty despondent and some have already grafted over their Jazz trees to other varieties including Fuji and Pink Lady. We can't go on losing money year after year," said Thomas

Competition among exporters has also kept prices down, the website said. Some exporters have sought a single-export setup such as Zespri for the kiwi industry.

"Jazz is a great eating apple … but yields are low and we're just not getting the returns for it we need, especially considering the huge investment made in it by growers,” Thomas said, according to the website.

Photo: jazzapple.com

Source: www.freshfruitportal.com

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