A new ownership structure for the trans-Tasman breeding program, Prevar, will benefit growers on both sides of the Tasman.
Since its establishment, Prevar has delivered 12 cultivars to Australian growers. Brands that have been developed by Prevar and are in production across Australia include Piqa®Boo®, Rockit®, and Smitten™ licensed to Freshmax, Lenswood Co-operative, and Montague respectively.
In addition to the New Zealand investments from New Zealand Apples and Pears Limited (NZAP) and PFR, Australian growers and the Australian Government have invested A$11 million in Prevar through Apple and Pear Australia (APAL), Hort Innovation, and its predecessor Horticulture Australia Limited. APAL currently holds 45% equity in Prevar.
However, from 2019 APAL and Hort Innovation will cease funding Prevar and APAL will dilute its shareholding to allow for additional funding options to be sought. Importantly, APAL and Hort Innovation have ensured the breeding pipeline will continue to benefit Australian growers for years to come.
Under the new structure, APAL will retain a 16% shareholding, receive a proportion of royalties generated from any new cultivars that are commercialised globally, and exclusive commercialisation rights to any cultivars released in Australia until 2038.
“The new arrangement ensures we receive a return on our industry’s historical investment, secure a competitive advantage for Australian industry, and continue to participate without the necessary ongoing investment obligations,” said APAL Chief Executive, Phil Turnbull.
“This structure will allow Prevar to deliver continued benefit to New Zealand apple and pear growers while continuing to honour the historic contribution of Australian industry,” said NZAP Chief Executive Alan Pollard.
Prevar’s Chair, Jim Mclean said “Trans-Tasman cooperation has always been advantageous for Prevar and we remain committed to consulting with Australian Industry to accelerate and improve outcomes.”
The new arrangement came into effect in January 2019 with any dividends generated by Prevar flowing back into the Hort Innovation Apple and Pear Fund for re-investment in industry research and development. Hort Innovation CEO Matt Brand said “Securing benefits for Australian growers has been paramount in this new Prevar arrangement, in recognition of the A$11M invested to date. We can now also look to other investment priorities for the Apple and Pear Fund.”
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