21 Apr 2011

Pear no beauty but will taste good, company promises

2:04 pm on 21 April 2011

The agency behind the release of a new, locally-bred pear is advising consumers not to be put off by appearances.

Prevar says the Velvetine pear won't be the most beautiful fruit on the stand, but its taste and texture will more than make up for that .

Prevar is the joint venture company that commercialises new apple and pear cultivars developed by New Zealand's Plant and Food Research Institute.

It has licensed the country's biggest pipfruit exporter, ENZA, to do the initial marketing.

Prevar chief executive Brett Ennis says the first small shipments are going to northern hemisphere markets, this season.

He says the pear is a cross between the 'Peter Barry' and 'Conference' varieties and at 300 grams is larger than many others.

Mr Ennis says fewer than 10,000 of the new pear trees have been planted in Nelson orchards so far but he expects that to grow as and when demand builds up.

Prevar is also planning licensing arrangements to grow the pear overseas, especially in Europe, to help build up demand.