Chile looks to new Envy apple markets in South America
While most of Chile's Envy apple production is currently destined for markets like the U.S. and Asia where consumers are willing to pay a premium, as more volume comes on stream one grower will be looking to raise the variety's profile closer to home.
The cultivar is owned by Enza and licensed to San Clemente in Chile, where it first arrived in 2011.
San Clemente's development director John Skinner says volume is still fairly small with 70,000 boxes expected this year, which will be mostly be shipped to the U.S., China, Thailand and the UAE.
Chile is now in its third year of commercial Envy production, but out of the 100 hectares planted some 40 hectares were only planted last year.
"We are in a process together with Enza to determine what the best area is to plant Envy apples in Chile," he says, adding farms are currently found between the southern VII (Maule) and IX (Araucanía) regions.
And as more volume is produced, Skinner is intent on trialing Envy apples in Brazil and Mexico.
"Envy is a variety that is very new for the whole world - it's only just starting and it's been well received in Asian countries," he says.
"It's a variety whose demand is rising. But we want to be very careful to plant it in the most appropriate zones due to its coloring requirements."
When asked about whether the apple will be consumed locally, he says Chile's population has not yet been able to enjoy the apple's distinct characteristics but in June the variety will be traded at local supermarkets in small volumes.
"It's a fruit that's very sweet with a well-balanced tartness, it's crispy, and in general it's good for eating and it has a very large size," he says, adding these characteristics in particular make it popular in Asia.
"We are very enthusiastic about this variety and we believe it has a great future, but you have to be cautious and learn to grow it very well."
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