A Western Australian apple variety, which has been grown in northern Victoria for three years, has potential to be a success on the export market.
That’s the verdict of Western Australian Department of Agriculture representative Steele Jacob and Goulburn Valley Independent Packers (GVIP) director Chris Georgopoulos on the apple known as the Bravo — a mix of Sundowner and Royal Gala varieties.
‘‘It has the potential for good export opportunities,’’ Mr Jacob said.
‘‘There’s a lot of interest not just for the local market but also the export, the south-east Asian market, too,’’ Mr Georgopoulos said.
Northern Victoria has the first commercial plantings of the Bravo variety in the eastern states, and GVIP is the licensed packer of the apples.
Mr Georgopoulos said the variety was a good one for growers looking to grow something different.
‘‘From a grower’s point of view, it looks like a grower-friendly apple. It looks like high yields and high packouts,’’ he said.
Both men agreed the variety was a unique one due to its consistent dark colour, while Mr Georgopoulos provided another reason for the apple being one-of-a-kind.
‘‘Other apples in the area are sensitive to bruising, this apple is a hardier apple,’’ he said.
Another attribute of the Bravo apple is its brix level, which is a measure of the sweetness of a fruit.
‘‘Brix levels at the moment before harvest are at 15. The average brix level for an apple in our area is 12. We did a trial of storing the apple for 12 months at a brix level of 15 and they came out real nice. Now we know we can store them for a long time,’’ Mr Georgopoulos said.
Mr Jacob said only the premium class of the variety was considered a Bravo, and Mr Georgopoulos said this was the class that would be put on the market.
‘‘Class ones will hit the market while class twos will be juiced,’’ he said.