Pears with the best of East and West

The Orchardist - - Contents -

New va­ri­eties with flavours that excite con­sumers and with stor­age pro­files that support ex­port to pre­mium mar­kets are key to the growth of the in­dus­try.

Since the mid-1990s, the pear breed­ing pro­gramme has re­leased seven new cul­ti­vars to the mar­ket. Th­ese cul­ti­vars are all tai­lored to the New Zealand con­di­tions, with in­trin­sic re­sis­tance to pests and dis­eases, as well as hav­ing good flavour and tex­ture char­ac­ter­is­tics that con­sumers en­joy.


The most re­cent cul­ti­vars re­leased in the breed­ing pro­gramme are in­ter­spe­cific pears – pears with mixed species her­itage – that com­bine the best at­tributes from Asian and Euro­pean pears. Th­ese fruits store bet­ter than tra­di­tional Euro­pean pears, and have novel shapes, colours and flavours that ap­peal to con­sumers. The New Zealand pipfruit in­dus­try es­ti­mates that this new cat­e­gory of in­ter­spe­cific pears will have an ex­port value of $60 mil­lion by 2023.

New cul­ti­vars are com­mer­cialised through a joint ven­ture company, Pre­var™ Limited, and are be­ing grown in New Zealand, Aus­tralia, the USA, China and the UK, pro­vid­ing a year round sup­ply for con­sumers. There are ap­prox­i­mately 45,000 trees glob­ally planted un­der li­cense to Pre­var™ and it is an­tic­i­pated that this will in­crease to more than 350,000 by 2020.

The pear breed­ing pro­gramme is funded through the Min­istry of Business, In­no­va­tion and Em­ploy­ment and Pre­var Limited™, with support from Plant & Food Re­search.

Pears that com­bine Euro­pean and Asian char­ac­ter­is­tics to de­liver con­sumer ap­peal

New Zealand ex­ports 4,000 tonnes of pears each year, around 1% of the to­tal vol­ume of pipfruit ex­ports, with a value of $9 mil­lion.

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