New Apple Variety Gaining Overwhelming Popularity, Sets to Dominate China
An overwhelming popularity of a new apple variety is currently causing some challenges. ‘PremA280’ apple is a new apple variety bred by New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research, owned by Prevar Limited of New Zealand.
The variety has great commercial potential in China as initial consumer feedback in various regions has been extremely positive. Market demand grows stronger every year.
Spokesperson for the China office of Shenzhen SVM Variety Management Limited, Ms. LIANG Chang, recently talked about the unique characteristics of the new variety ‘PremA280’, its market prospects, and the challenges that followed ‘overwhelming popularity’ in the Chinese market.
Ms. Liang shared the story behind the breeding and the development of the ‘PremA280′ apple variety. It comes from the same breeding programme as the well-known Envy® and Rockit® apples. This new variety has drawn the attention of consumers with its glossy appearance, crisp and sweet flavor, rich fragrance, and elongated shape.
‘’However, the immense popularity of this apple has brought some challenges”, said Ms. Liang. The exclusive master licensee to commercialise this variety in China is Shenzhen SVM Variety Management Limited.
“PremA280’ was first introduced into China by SVM in 2010. The variety was evaluated in many different apple growing regions throughout China, and we imported fruit samples from overseas to conduct consumer feedback assessment. ‘PremA280’ was granted Plant Breeder Right by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of the People’s Republic of China in November 2018. Only in 2020 did we officially decide to license the planting of the variety.
“We have discovered some orchards in Yunnan were growing the trees and sold the apples of ‘PremA280’. Evidence collected on-site shows that this variety is grown without permission in orchards that cover an area of 1,333 hectares. The farm gate price is around 15 yuan [2.31 USD] per kg. The variety has been sold under the name ‘Longwei’.
According to Shenzhen SVM Variety Management, the infringement has already cost them more than ten million yuan [$1.5 million] in income in the last few years. The apple harvest period in Yunnan is about to begin.
Shenzhen SVM Variety Management will take all legal steps to protect its plant breeders rights and reminds all marketers that they are also liable if they sell Longwei or PremA280 without a license. Marketers must carefully distinguish the apple varieties before they purchase the fruit from orchards. The healthy and sustainable commercialization of new varieties in China requires us to respect and protect the Plant Breeder Right.
“We have already engaged our legal team and they are working with relevant parties to find an amicable solution, but we will not give up our right to pursue legal action in response to infringement on the rights we hold”, said Ms. Liang.
SVM specialises in the management of intellectual property (IP) of fruit varieties. The company is a member of Associated International Group of Nurseries (AIGN) and the International Community of Breeders of Asexually Reproduced Ornamental and Fruit Varieties (CIOPORA). SVM is the largest importer and manager of new pip and stone fruit varieties into China.
The company’s expertise is in the importation, propagation, evaluation, and commercialisation of high-quality fruit varieties from all over the world. We also help Chinese breeders find the best opportunities for cooperation in the international market. SVM is determined to protect the rights of its plant breeders.
The company is intent on sending a strong message that intellectual property rights can and will be enforced in the Chinese fruit industry. This will help the Chinese fruit industry develop in an orderly fashion, so that new and innovative varieties from all over the world can benefit Chinese growers and consumers.