4 Jul 2012

Zespri says new cultivar resists Psa

7:44 am on 4 July 2012

First commercial shipments of a new gold kiwifruit variety have reached Europe.

Zespri says it has nearly a million trays of the G3 cultivar ready for export to its main markets, Japan, South Korea and Europe, over the next six months.

The first shipment reached a Belgian port late last week.

They're being sent alongside 20 million trays of the original Hort16A gold variety. Some vines of that cultivar have been severely affected by the vine canker Psa.

Zespri says G3 - which is showing better resistance to the disease - will fully replace the disease-struck variety over the next three years.

Zespri chief executive Lain Jager says consumers responded well to a global taste test of the new variety, which is called SunGold.

Zespri recently issued licences to grown G3 on 2000 hectares of vines, adding to the 400 hectares currently in the ground.