Chilean Kiwi Kiss exporter expects improved prices in 2017

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Chilean Kiwi Kiss exporter expects improved prices in 2017

A little more than a month into the 2017 season, a Chilean company growing the New Zealand-developed Kiwi Kiss is expecting a more positive campaign than last year. 

The variety, known scientifically as Y374, was bred by Don Skelton in 1999 using seeds originating from China and can reach Brix levels as high as 16.

One of the Chilean exporters working with the gold variety is Greenvic. The entity kicked off the harvest on March 15 this year and is shipping the fruit to the Chinese and South Korean markets.

Speaking with Fresh Fruit Portal, the company's deputy manager for production Harold Faille said the deal had got off to an early start.

He explained the majority of volumes were yet to come and expects "that [the season] will be better than a difficult 2016, a year marked by a difficult post-harvest."

Sizing may be down in general this year, but Faille said quality, firmness and color were all positive.

The representative expects higher prices than last year and is sure the fruit will have a better post-harvest life as a result of the more favorable weather conditions.

There are currently around 50 hectares of Kiwi Kiss planted in the South American country, where Faille said the majority of Southern Hemisphere production was based.

"Just like the vast majority of gold varieties, its establishment in Chile has not come without problems - like its susceptibility to Verticillium wilt, which unfortunately has forced us to abandon some of our own and third-party projects," he said.

For the future Faille said the idea would be to maintain limited volumes and continue working with growers who had seen success with the variety so far.

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