French growers have plans under way to increase production of Honeycrunch apples over the next five years.

This year, marketable production is set to hit 2,700 tonnes compared to 1,200 tonnes last year.

By 2005, the group is expecting to sell around 6,000t and up to 10,000t by 2008.

The Pomanjou Group aims to extend the season from the end of December to the end of January.

French production will be expanded and partnerships have also been formed with the Provar Group in Germany to plant a further 50 hectares and also the Dutoit Vrutdge group in South Africa to create 140 hectares, which will also extend sales to the summer months.