Australia: Freshmax signs stonefruit licensing deal with Provedo
Freshmax Australia has signed an exclusive rights deal with Provedo to import, test and commercialize the Spanish company's full range of stonefruit varieties.
This process has included the engagement of Victoria-based Little Tree Company as the nursery partner for the program. The nursery will also assist in the evaluation process of the different potential varieties.
Provedo is a global leader in horticulture plants production founded in 1926, now producing over 4 million grape vines, olive and fruit trees annually.
Since the mid-nineties a researcher team at Provedo has been developing a program of 'controlled hybridization' aimed principally at boosting stonefruit flavor.
“In the past, value was given to the fruit being aesthetically attractive but diverse market studies tell us that this trend has changed and now flavour is the most important,” executive Javier Provedo said.
This program is aimed at finding new varieties of peach, nectarine, flat peach, Japanese plum and apricot. Provedo’s varieties are extensively grown in Spain and across Europe with their material also being tested in the U.S., South Africa and South America.
“We have an extensive and detailed database of information on each of our varieties that will greatly help us to select the most suitable varieties and timeslots for the Australian market,” Provedo said.
“For many years now, our nurseries have been developing a programme of controlled hybridisations to improve its products and obtain varieties which adapt best to a wider variety of market demands.”
A release from Freshmax highlighted a 'crunchy, very firm, sweet, juicy fleshed peach, nectarine, and flat peach' that resulted from Provedo's program as its greatest achievement.
The varieties are marketed under the EXTREME brand, and are said to have a long post-harvest life and oxidation-resistant flesh that makes them well suited to prepared product ranges.
“We have been looking at their varieties for several years and see great potential in the material for our market and the important Asian export market,” Freshmax Intellectual Property management and commercialisation representative Andrew Maughan said.
“The Extreme® branded varieties offer a new and exciting flavour profile that our market is yet to experience.”
Freshmax Australia export manager Patricia Bowlby added this was an 'exciting time' for the country's stonefruit industry with the recent opening of the Chinese market.
"It will be imperative that Australian growers produce varieties with the desired attributes and flavour profile for the China Market," she said.
"The Provedo program looks to offer some exciting material that we believe will be greatly appreciated by Asian consumers."