4 Aug 2014

Viability of G9 kiwifruit under question

10:02 am on 4 August 2014

There are fears a newly developed kiwifruit variety could be a lemon.

An industry leader said there were concerns about the long-term commercial viability of the gold kiwifruit variety known as G9.

G9 was first commercialised, along with another gold variety, G3, in 2010 in response to the bacterial disease PSA which has virtually wiped out the former variety of gold kiwifruit.

About 150 hectares of G9 is grown, much less than G3's 4000 hectares.

Zespri held a meeting with G9 growers on Friday to update them on how the variety was faring in markets overseas but would not comment on the details.

Gold kiwifruit.

Gold kiwifruit. Photo: PHOTO NZ

However, New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers president Neil Trebilco said while G9 was a good variety, there were several issues with it.

"There is some concern about how it stores long term in the market," he said.

Mr Trebilco said there had been no decision made on G9's future as yet except to inform growers as to how it had performed in the market this year.

"And also to make an offer to growers if they decide, because there are some recognised issues with the variety and if they want to exit and graft to G3, just what the process is around that."

He said it was too early to say if G9 was going to come to an end as a commercial crop.

"That decision as I understand it won't be made until May next year. But there is sufficient concern I think in terms of how it is performing in markets to raise a question-mark over its long-term viability I think."