KORU® Brand Apple is Truly Worldwide

Article from The Orchardist
August 2015

Photo Description: Representatives of the NZ/USA team after completing a major agreement to grow and market KORU® Plumac c.v. in the USA.
Back row: Kaari Stannard, Rod Farrow, Todd Cameron, Sean Gilbert, Bruce Allen, John Borton, Matt Hanna. Front row: Byron Borton, Andy McGrath, Sandi McGrath

“We are excited about this relationship between New Zealand growers and the USA and have further international programmes in the pipeline.”-Andy McGrath

KORU OriginalUSANews webAn agreement has been signed between Global Plant Variety Administration Limited (GPVA) in New Zealand and Coast to Coast Apple Growers Cooperative Inc. in the USA, to make KORU® Brand Apple a world-wide apple variety.
Coast to Coast Apple Growers Cooperative Inc. comprises four major USA Apple producers, Borton Fruit, Columbia Reach Orchard and Gilbert Fruit on the West Coast in Washington State and Fish Creek Farms in New York State of Eastern USA. The cooperative is the exclusive marketer and grower of KORU® Plumac c.v. apples in the USA and has committed to plantings totallying 1350 acres (546 hectares) by 2019. Growers, who are mainly related parties, will be licensed by the cooperative to grow trees and produce fruit.
Byron Borton, chief visionary officer of Borton & Sons Inc. stated, “When I first tasted the KORU® Plumac c.v. apples back in 2012, I knew we had something special. I eat an apple every day, and I can honestly say that the KORU® is hands down my favourite apple because it is always crisp, and the taste profile is the same with every single apple. It is consistent, and consistently awesome! The Coast to Coast Cooperative represents some of the brightest minds in the apple industry across both the US and New Zealand. When I realized I could share in bringing a phenomenal product to market with an all-star team like this, I knew I needed to be a part of the KORU® Plumac c.v. in the USA.”
Annual USA production of KORU® Brand Apples is expected to exceed 2 million cartons and will supply the USA market before May 20 annually, opening the market for New Zealand fruit growers to supply KORU® Brand apples into the USA market. This unique strategy will ensure that the consumer is always getting the freshest, best quality fruit which will maximize retail price and in turn high grower returns.
Current New Zealand plantings are expected to produce 250,000 cartons per year, therefore additional plantings will be needed in New Zealand to supply projected USA consumption of a million cartons a year during that five month window.
Andy McGrath of GPVA and Director of McGrath Nurseries Ltd says: “The vast amount of scientific testing we did on Plumac c.v. (KORU® Brand) apples indicated it would be a promising apple and we have not been let down. It has proved very popular with consumers who are prepared to pay a premium for its qualities.
“Retailers to date that have received the fruit in past years were excited to offer their customers a first opportunity to experience KORU® Brand Plumac c.v., and consumers responded most favourably to the rich culinary qualities and consistently gratifying eating experience of the variety.” Kaari Stannard added: “As the import tonnage grows and domestic North American production increases, our coordinated marketing and consumer outreach programme will delight more consumers across the marketplace. Coast to Coast Cooperative members combine a great grower base, strong national market presence and extensive experience developing consumer loyalty for superior quality premium apples.”
Andy said “We are excited about this relationship between New Zealand growers and the USA and have further international programmes in the pipeline with other markets including Australia, UK and the EU. This is a major step forward in the global strategy for Plumac c.v. and KORU® Brand Apples.”