Around 20 hectares of T&G Global’s mandarin orchards in Northland have transformed to a later-season variety over the past two years – via a dose of kiwi ingenuity and clever grafting.
It says, after a series of evaluations in 2020, a group of selected growers and marketers are reporting that ‘HOT84A1’ is growing well.
The apple features an attractive, rich red colour with excellent texture and a sweet taste and growers have also discovered that it performs equally as well in temperate climates, as it does in hot climates.
“This is an exciting find and proves that this apple is well suited to many different geographies,” says T&G’s Gary Wellwood. “It opens up further opportunities for growers in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres and provides an opportunity for year-round supply.”
Wellwood adds that in the Northern Hemisphere, the variety blooms in mid-April with harvest timing in late September – early October. This places it in market approximately two weeks earlier than Fuji, meaning that consumers get to experience this variety on supermarket shelves for longer.
Jeremy Linsell, Worldwide Fruit UK, technical development manager says ‘HOT84A1’ has performed well in testing in the United Kingdom. UK-grown fruit was tested by leading retailers and consumers in the UK with the sweet apple being highly rated and given very positive feedback.
In its second year as strategic commercialisation partner for the Hot Climate Programme, T&G Global has made good progress with the first variety under licence.
‘HOT84A1’ is being planted in commercial volumes in Catalonia, Spain.
T&G claims that Spanish growers are eager to mitigate the effects of hot summer temperatures on the quality of their apple crop and have jumped at the chance to access this variety.
It says interest in the variety has been strong, with ‘HOT84A1’ trees being circulated globally. In 2021, T&G Global, together with its material services provider Dalival,, will begin planting further test blocks throughout Europe.
Planting of test trees for evaluation in Australia, the USA and South Africa are expected within a few years.