U.S. apple growers receive Dazzle apple license

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U.S. apple growers receive Dazzle apple license

New Zealand-based Fruitcraft has signed an agreement with two U.S. companies to grow and sell the new Dazzle apple variety, which was launched last year. 

Fruitcraft, a collaboration between New Zealand's three largest apple companies - Mr Apple, Bostock New Zealand and Freshmax - signed licensing deals with Chelan Fruit and Gebbers Farms, both located in Washington state.

“This is the first step in the global licensing of the Dazzle programme. It gives growers in the US the ability to grow Dazzle and sell it around the world," said Fruitcraft manager Steve Potbury.

"Chelan Fruit and Gebbers Farm have committed to planting three million trees over 12 years, and they will be marketing their fruit through their jointly owned company Chelan Fresh, one of the world’s largest apple sellers.

"This will strengthen the positioning of Dazzle on the global markets. More fruit will help establish the market more quickly and create a stronger following for the brand internationally."

Gebbers Farms president Cass Gebbers and Chelan Fruit CEO Reggie Collins expect the first commercial plantings to start in 2020.

Chelan Fresh Marketing CEO Tom Riggan said that 80% of fruit grown in the U.S. is sold domestically, but Washington growers are looking to export more and the Dazzle variety offers good opportunities.

"The climate in Washington will be perfect for growing Dazzle. We have warm days and cool nights at the time this mid-season apple is harvested, which will create the ideal environment," said Collins.

In New Zealand, the apples are grown on trees of the variety PremA129, with more than 100,000 trees now planted and a further 250,000 trees to be planted this winter.

"We are on track to produce and export one million cartons of Dazzle by 2028, which will make Dazzle one of the most popular apples in New Zealand," said Potbury.

Pattullo’s Nurseries owner Kerry Sixtus says he has been overwhelmed by the number of Dazzle trees being planted.

“We are way ahead of our targets for planting this apple variety. We don’t have many trees left in the nursery to sell, which shows the popularity and demand from New Zealand apple growers for Dazzle," he said.


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