Last year, RIVOIRA GROUP signed a worldwide license from NKP (New Kiwi Plant) for 2 sweet yellow kiwi varieties owned by the University of Udine (Italy). Today, at last, the brand name under which these yellow kiwis will be marketed has been unveiled.
Angelo Ferrara from ROBILANT (Milan, Italy) presented the creation process and features of the new brand name. “This name is joyful and playful, and it deviates from the crowd of many descriptive names,” he explained, “it is a bit provocative but certainly easy to remember.”
Gerhard Dichgans, Global Project Manager, briefly summarized the history of the project, which began back in 2008 with the planting of 16,000 seedlings bred by the University of Udine and evaluated and selected by NKP (New Kiwi Plant).
“The two varieties have different characteristics: ‘022’ is harvested in mid-October and has a good shelf life, while ‘076’ is harvested as early as mid/late September and has superior sweetness and dry matter characteristics.”
“But a key point is that both varieties have shown in 7 years of testing a strong resilience towards “PSA/bacteriosis” and “Moria”, the two biggest problems facing producers in Europe and around the world today.”
“Consumer demand for yellow kiwifruit is growing worldwide,” he added, “but production cannot keep up with demand because of agronomic difficulties. With this project and these two new varieties, we think we finally have a sustainable agronomic answer for growers.”
“The great strength of our proposal,” emphasized Marco Rivoira, CEO of RIVOIRA Group, “is to have two varieties with superior quality and shelf life, being able to easily cover a commercial sales window up to mid-May, as evidenced by the first batches of goods harvested in October 2022 and processed and marketed in April 2023.”
“Commercial development is in full swing,” he added, “with 140 hectares planted in 2022 and 220 hectares in 2023, to which another 200 hectares are planned for 2024. This shows the great confidence of our partners in the project.”
1,500 hectares have been licensed in Europe to 12 companies, all of which were present at the conference. A first commercial harvest of 450 tons will be harvested this fall, and sold under the new KIKOKA brand.
The next step will be the creation of the European Consortium, in which the Partners will be shareholders pro quota to the licensed hectares. The Consortium will be the single marketing desk responsible for sales of KIKOKA-branded yellow kiwi from the 2024 season.
The 12 Companies participating in the project are: Apo Scaligera (Zevio, Italy), Clementi (Laives, Italy), Innatis (Angers, France), Kiwi Uno (Verzuolo, Italy), Peviani (Siziano, Italy), Savajols (St.Rambert d’Albon, France), Surexport (Sevilla, Spain), Zeus Kiwi (Katerini, Greece), Zeoli Fruit (Cisterna di Latina, Italy). OP Armonia (Battipaglia, Italy) also joins the project with 50 hectares for organic production only, and 2 producer groups for 50 hectares each: Arta Gold (Arta, Greece) and Agrihold (Valencia, Spain).