World first – Piqa® Boo® trees are in the ground

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Freshmax Australia is proud to announce the first commercial plantings of its Piqa® Boo® program have gone in the ground.

The variety was originally bred by Plant & Food Research New Zealand,  and licensed by Prevar Ltd to Freshmax. Piqa® Boo® combines characteristics from European, Japenese and Chinese pears. In Australia, Freshmax’s Piqa® Boo® program involves a coordinated group of Australian pear growers.

Since 2010 there has been in excess of 400 hectares of pears removed from the Goulburn Valley, mostly made up of Williams’ Bon Chrétien pears. This is directly due to the significant decline in the food processing industry in Australia. “Piqa® Boo® offers the category a chance of new life and opportunity against the increasing competition” says Andrew Maughan, IP and Commercialisation Manager. That is competition from other fruit categories with new innovative varieties that have been released in recent years.

As a leader in field for the development and launch of intellectual property varieties, Freshmax is always looking for new varieties to bring to market. “Piqa Boo is so different from anything in the market, we are so excited to get this journey rolling” says Maughan, “We expect to see commercial volumes start to come through in 2018, and there is plenty to be getting on with between now and then.”

The first trees went in at Oakmoor Orchards (run by Varapodio & Sons) in Ardmona last week. Varapodio’s have planted a total of 7,000 trees with another 23,000 going in across the Goulburn Valley this winter. There will be a total of 200,000+ trees planted in the next 3-4 years.