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    Rights: The University of Waikato
    Published 9 June 2011 Referencing Hub media

    It takes a long time to breed a new apple cultivar and develop all the attributes to a high enough standard to be successful in the market. It’s also crucial that a new variety is commercially successful in the long term. Here, Prevar CEO Brett Ennis explains the importance of taking time to ensure all the attributes of a new variety meet the requirements of consumers, growers and marketers.

    Questions to consider

    • What are the different stakeholder groups involved in the commercialisation process?
    • What might be the impact on each stakeholder group if some apple attributes don’t meet quality criteria?
    • Discuss the apple attributes important to the different stakeholders and describe criteria for each that would define quality standards for long-term success in the market.

    Teaching points

    • To learn more about apple attributes – before or after viewing this video clip – see this the Assessing apple attributes interactive


    Brett Ennis (Prevar)
    It’s possible to release a product early because it’s novel, but we are in here for sustainable value. We don't want to launch a product and have it fail because its flavour or its keeping quality or its storage is not up to the high standards we have for export product out of New Zealand. Much of our focus in the breeding programme, because New Zealand is an exporter predominantly, is to make sure that our products store well and have good shelf life.

    We are prepared to wait to be sure that the product we bring out of a red-fleshed variety meets all of those quality requirements. It’s a case of being patient, working on our science, working on our programme, to be sure that, when we are ready to launch a product, it won't fail because we were hasty, it will succeed because it delivers all of the requirements that are required not only by the industry here but also what is required in the marketplace – in other words, it stores well, it eats well, it keeps well.

    A grower has to have confidence in a red-fleshed variety because he or she is making a 15–20 year investment. It’s very expensive – somewhere between 50 and 70,000 New Zealand dollars per hectare to plant a new variety – so a grower doesn't want to find that the product failed because we failed to breed a good product.

    So we are taking time and care to be sure that the product delivers all of the quality attributes that consumers want and that can survive the export from New Zealand into the marketplace. It’s important with a red-fleshed apple that it not only look visually attractive but they enjoy eating it. So people buy with their eyes – they might be enticed to pick up a red-fleshed apple because it looks visually attractive – and we have a great story, but unless it tastes good and they enjoy the crunch and the juiciness and all the other attributes of high-quality white-flesh apples, we won't get that sustainable repeat purchase, and that is why it’s important to be patient.

    Additional footage from Plant and Food Research