NZ: Zespri postpones red variety release decision until 2019

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NZ: Zespri postpones red variety release decision until 2019

New Zealand kiwifruit marketer Zespri has postponed the decision to commercial release of a red variety until 2019, having previously planned it for this year. 

Red kiwifruit seedlings

New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers Inc (NZKGI) said that in January, the Zespri board had requested the management team fast-track data collection for a red variety to allow a decision in 2018.

"Any commercialisation decision on a new variety usually takes place after a minimum of three years in pre-commercial trials and any fast track commercialisation decision in 2018 would be made on limited information," it said.

"At the Zespri Board meeting on 23 February 2018, it was decided not to proceed with a commercialisation decision of the red variety in 2018 but to continue collecting data for a 2019 commercialisation decision."

NZKGI said that despite all of the efforts to learn as fast as Zespri can about the red variety, it was agreed that the organization needs to take more time to fully understand the scope and scale of the risks.

"There is strong market demand for a red variety in the Zespri portfolio," it said.

"The potential value in the red category means that Zespri is willing to accept more risk in order to get to market quickly, but in accepting this risk Zespri feel they still need to be sure that we are prudent with any commercialisation decision."

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