Zespri is to begin pre-commercial trials of a new red kiwifruit cultivar in New Zealand, according to a report by media outlet Stuff. Zespri chair Bruce Cameron said the move was a response to the high demand for its RubyRed brand in international markets, especially in China, Japan, Singapore and Taiwan. Export sales of Zespri’s red-fleshed kiwifruit were almost three times higher than last year, reaching around 330,000 trays. Additional plantings could mean the group will supply around 6.9m trays of the fruit by 2027/28.
“The decision to progress another red variety to pre-commercial trials is part of our effort to explore how to extend our supply of Zespri RubyRed Kiwifruit throughout the season and return more value to growers,” he told Stuff. “The new cultivar that will enter pre-commercial trials is expected to have different seasonal timing to Red19, making it a complementary variety.”