16 Oct 2008

New kiwifruit trials begin

6:36 am on 16 October 2008

Zespri has started trials of several new varieties of gold kiwifruit as world demand for the fruit continues to grow.

Zespri owns the plant variety rights for gold kiwifruit and has issued more growing licences which it estimates will supply enough fruit to meet international demand until 2015 - 2018.

Three new varieties of gold kiwifruit and a new green kiwifruit have been developed by HortResearch.

Strategy and business development manager Peter Luxton says orchard trials are to be held, with the new varieties potentially being planted in 2010 and being harvested in 2012.

He says the new green variety would produce ready-to-eat fruit three or four weeks earlier than the standard Heyward variety.