As part of the “Hot Climate Programme" BayWa’s subsidiary T&G Global, market leader in the New Zealand fruit business, is driving forward the worldwide commercialisation of apple and pear varieties for hot climates. The new varieties are characterised by a high tolerance to heat and water scarcity and are more robust against pests and diseases. The breeding programme, based on natural crosses, was launched in 2002 by the State Research Institute for Agriculture of Catalonia (IRTA) and the Plant & Food Research Institute, New Zealand. Recently, T&G Global was appointed to be the exclusive commercialisation partner of this program.
Growers worldwide are posed to major challenges due to climate change and its consequences. Increasing heat and water scarcity enhance the risk of sunburn, problems with development of colour and texture, pest infestation and disease, resulting in declining yield and quality. By growing heat-tolerant varieties, however, the supply of food retailers with high-quality apples and pears will be secured in the future even under the influence of climatic changes.
The Hot Climate Programme was released in 2002 due to increasing quality problems faced by Spanish fruit producers, particularly in the Catalonia region. The traditional apple and pear varieties suffered increasingly from sunburn, problems with coloration and soft flesh during the summer season and - after harvest - reduced shelf life. As a result, the “Hot Climate Programme” was released to select heat-tolerant apple and pear varieties with commercial potential. Under the influence of climate change, these varieties will also have significant potential for other growing regions in the future.
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