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NZ and Australian farmers form JV to invest $11.5 million for production of new apple and pear cultivars

In a Joint Venture statement, New Zealand and Australian pipfruit farmers announced a recommitment to a multi-million dollar investment for the production of new apple and pear cultivars. In the deal, Australian growers are expected to invest NZ$11.5 million spread over five years via their established JV Company, PrevarTM Limited. The company was begun in 2004 for the commercialization of new apple and pear cultivars from the pipfruit breeding programme at Plant and Food Research.


It is aimed at the development of new cultivars equipped to meet consumer demand for fresh, great tasting, healthy and convenient apples and pears, both for the domestic and export segments. It is expected that the investment, at $11.5 million, will be split between Pipfruit New Zealand (PNZ) and Apple & Pear Australia Limited (APAL).  Plant & Food Research recommitted to the JV with a 10% shareholding, whereas the Associated International Group of Nurseries was appointed as the crucial provider for worldwide cultivar distribution and evaluation.


According to its CEO, Dr Brett Ennis, the reinvestment demonstrated the strong base the company has built in the past five years, reiterating that the skills and expertise of the company’s partners will allow it to build on lessons it has learnt and deliver new, exciting cultivars to Australasian growers. Other than marketing and management of new cultivars, PNZ and APAL will also offer apple and pear famers in New Zealand and Australia late stage commercial trials.


Pipfruit New Zealand Chairman, Ian Palmer, reaffirmed PNZ’s commitment to PrevarTM, saying the New Zealand pipfruit industry stands to continue benefitting from the new cultivars with growers having the first supply opportunities in global markets.


Horticulture Australia Limited (HAL) is behind the Australian investment in PrevarTM, in partnership with APAL. The firm is funded by apple levies and voluntary contributions with the Australian government providing matched financing for all of HAL’s Research and Development operations.


Plant & Food Research will offer research and intellectual property to the JV, and an additional reinvestment of royalties derived from cultivars developed in the breeding programme. Plant & Food Research CEO, Peter Landon-Lane, said the firm had a renowned track record in pipfruit breeding, given its high number of successful cultivars that are currently available in the global markets. According to him, PrevarTM targets delivery of new, exciting cultivars for premium export markets and is seeking to strengthen partnerships built in the last six years. On the other hand, AIGN, one of the founding partners in PrevarTM, will continue providing logistics for cultivar distribution globally, intellectual property management and propagation.


June 10, 2010.


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