The company that coined the name kiwifruit and took it to the world is giving New Zealand its first taste of Summerkiwi™, a new early maturing, sweeter green variety, which has been picked for the first time in Kerikeri.
Turners & Growers will have Summerkiwi™ in commercial production here next year. The company estimates the variety has an export potential of up to 12 million trays annually that will earn around $84 million each year for New Zealand`s kiwifruit industry. In 2005 Turners & Growers identified the internationally successful Summerkiwi™ in Italy as a variety with exciting potential for New Zealand growers. The fruit can be differentiated from the traditional green Hayward variety by its sweeter taste, emerald green flesh, low acid and softer core. It has also been proven to earn a premium over Hayward in the European market.
Turners & Growers Managing Director, Jeff Wesley says the first pick of Summerkiwi™ in early April from the company`s grafted Summerkiwi™ vines marks another step in the new variety`s commercial development in New Zealand.
“We are very pleased with the quality of the first fruit produced and how the fruit has matured. The fruit produced in Kerikeri is delicious.” Summerkiwi™ matures at around the same time as gold kiwifruit and will be available around four weeks earlier than Hayward in the same growing location, giving New Zealand supermarkets a sweeter better-tasting, kiwi-grown green earlier, and giving our growers an earlier start to the export season ahead of Southern Hemisphere competitors.
“Growers here should be the leading suppliers of Summerkiwi™ in the Southern Hemisphere. It`s a unique new product that expands the shelf-space kiwifruit commands in international supermarkets and will boost orchard gate returns for struggling green growers,” says Mr Wesley.
The company holds the global Intellectual Property Rights to ENZARed™, ENZAGold™ and the regional rights to Summerkiwi™ and wants the right to export these varieties from New Zealand. 2009 marked 50 years since Turners & Growers created the iconic name `kiwifruit` after it began exporting the Chinese Gooseberry from New Zealand to the United States. The company continues to be at the forefront of the kiwifruit industry today as a major grower of green and gold kiwifruit and a developer of new varieties.