Apri­cot Co eight years in the mak­ing

The Orchardist - - >>News - By Dianne King

A grower co-op­er­a­tive to mar­ket new va­ri­eties of apri­cots should be in op­er­a­tion next year, ac­cord­ing to in­terim chair­man, Nigel Hin­ton.

New apri­cot va­ri­eties be­ing de­vel­oped at Plant & Food, Clyde will be re­leased un­der the own­er­ship of grower co­op­er­a­tive com­pany, Apri­cot Co, and will add to the fresh sum­mer­fruit avail­able on do­mes­tic and ex­port mar­kets.

This new com­pany will man­age the man­age the re­lease of three new va­ri­eties which have not yet been given brand names but are known among the sum­mer­fruit in­dus­try as NZ sum­mer 1, 3 and 4.Tri­als blocks of th­ese va­ri­eties have al­ready been grown in the district’s or­chards and feed­back from grow­ers has been very pos­i­tive. Apri­cot Co’s in­terim board chair­man, Nigel Hin­ton, said Sum­mer­fruit NZ was fund­ing the in­terim board to set up the le­gal en­tity. The in­ten­tion is that the new com­pany will be a self-fund­ing com­mer­cial en­ter­prise for the co-op­er­a­tive share­hold­ers.

“We are still work­ing through all the de­tails and hope­fully th­ese will be con­firmed in the mid­dle of next year,” he said.

Still to be fi­nalised is whether there will be a levy per tree or per hectare and the levy will be paid to Plant & Food, with the stip­u­la­tion the levy is to go into breed­ing and eval­u­a­tion.

The con­cept of the co-op­er­a­tive com­pany has been in the pipeline for about eight years and is now be­ing put into ac­tion. Mem­bers of the in­terim board all have ex­pe­ri­ence in the sum­mer­fruit in­dus­try and in­clude Garry Ben­netts, from Roxburgh, Roger Brown­lie, Napier, Bruno Simp­son, Waimea, in­de­pen­dent di­rec­tors Basil Good­man, Cromwell, who is chair­man of Sea­sonal So­lu­tions Co-op­er­a­tive, Alexan­dra, and con­sul­tant Earn­scy Weaver. who has a cherry or­chard at Spring­vale, near Alexan­dra and is a Sum­mer­fruit NZ direc­tor.

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