A new firm and juicy WA-developed apple is one step closer to shop shelves after 20 years of breeding and testing by the Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia (DAFWA).
It has a distinct sweetness and a moderate to high crisp and crunch factor, and was first previewed by growers and potential consumers in 2010. The trees are now available to Western Australian growers.
The commercial agreements have been signed and industry body Fruit West Co-operative Ltd will manage the commercialisation of the variety.
The apple is grower friendly because the tree is productive, the fruit colours easily and the apples stand out from existing varieties on the shop shelves.
The dark burgundy-skinned apple, officially known as ANABP 01, is a cross between ‘Cripps Red’ and ‘Royal Gala’. Testing has shown ANABP 01 is suitable to all the major Australian apple production regions. It is harvested between mid-April and early May in the Manjimup region. The apple is a medium size with very good flavour and good storing quality.
Colour development on the skin is important for consumers and the new apple colours up well in Western Australian growing conditions – better than apples which prefer colder climates.
The new apple, a product of the Australian National Apple Breeding Program, is the product of investment by both the Western Australian Government and Horticulture Australia Limited. About 75,000 trees are available for sale to growers from the budding in 2013. Small quantities of fruit should become available for sale in 2016.
If the new apple is well received by consumers, its royalty stream will help underpin the future of Australian apple breeding.
DAFWA has bred both the Cripps Pink and Cripps Red varieties, also known by the international brand names of Pink Lady™ and Sundowner™.