Current rivalries between France and New Zealand on the rugby field has not stopped both countries enjoying the mutual benefits of the much sought after Jazz Apple.
The New Zealand Ambassador to France, Dr James Kember, recently made a trip to Saint-Aubin-le-Dépeint in the central region of France to visit orchards growing JAZZ apples, a New Zealand developed variety.
Marc Leprince, T&G manager for the ENZA Europe office, noted that although rugby and the prediction of winners and losers was discussed, all agreed that JAZZ was the real winner for both countries.
“Currently we grow JAZZ in 11 countries around the world with France one of our largest producers behind New Zealand. From original plantings in 2002 there are now 520ha planted in France by 50 producers,” said Mr Leprince.
“It’s certainly a great honour that the New Zealand ambassador could be here and see our growing region. It has been a real partnership between the two countries that has made JAZZ a success here in Europe and it’s a relationship that will last long after the final whistle blows on the rugby field. When New Zealand and France play in the same team, we are like a dream team…unfortunately on rugby we are still adversaries.”
Ambassador Kember took the opportunity to officially plant a JAZZ Apple tree – the 1.3millionth to be planted – as well as head into a block on the orchard and pick fruit. The ENZA office team hope to give him regular updates on his tree and hopefully invite him back during harvest time.
But that’s not the only New Zealand variety that will find its way onto French soil. The ENVY apple, a variety hugely popular in the Asian market, will also be planted over the next few years.
“Both JAZZ and ENVY are fantastic apples and we are incredibly passionate about giving consumers here in France and Europe the chance to enjoy them – alongside a great game of rugby.”