The Orchardist

Piqa Boo Asia bound

New Zealand Piqa Boo pear growers and exporters are planning an Asian market launch of the fledgling pear variety in April, as volumes almost treble this year.

- By Rose Mannering

Piqa Boo Go Group, chaired by Mike van Workum, is coordinati­ng the launch of the variety in its main markets China, Taiwan and Malaysia this season. Mike says volumes have jumped from 18,000 trays (7 kilogram RSTS) to 50,000 trays this season.

The six companies licensed to export the variety will work together for a combined market launch.

The truly unique pear variety has been developed out of a cross undertaken at Plant & Food Research 20 years ago between European, Chinese and Japanese pears. The selection has subsequent­ly been commercial­ised by Prevar Ltd.

Piqa Boo’s unique red skin, shape and delicate crunchy flavour have been an immediate hit with Asian consumers, with sales in the past season reaching to $150 for an 18kg equivalent TCE (tray carton equivalent) for preferred sizes.

“Piqa Boo will be sent to China,taiwan and Malaysia to get as much market spread as possible,” Mike says.

Six exporters,yummy, Fern Ridge Fresh, Intergrow, Pickmee,

Golden Bay and Freshmax are licensed to export the variety.

Mike says Piqa Boo is entirely unique; a modest budget enabled the developmen­t of a “brand story” to promote the new taste to prospectiv­e Asian customers.

Although the advance of COVID-19 has affected the supply chain, strong demand is still expected on arrival. The small volumes of this unique product are expected to result in continued strong demand.

At harvest fruit are crisp and juicy, with low acidity, slightly sweet.a characteri­sticwillia­ms Bon Chretien (WBC) flavour develops in fruit during cold storage. Fruit appear to have low susceptibi­lity to friction induced discoloura­tion (scuff), and mature in New Zealand typically in late February to early

March, one to two weeks earlier than Comice.

“Everyone is still ordering product in those markets; there will be a three-week delivery time from harvest,” he says.

 ??  ?? Mike van Workum with prize Piqa Boo.
Mike van Workum with prize Piqa Boo.

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