Differential down to 35% with more fruit entering UK Premiums on Zespri Gold kiwifruit, the new sweeter New Zealand variety, are expected to be lower than last season's both as a marketing tactic and due to the arrival of more fruit in the UK. UK marketing manager Lorraine Kirby says the differential with the traditional green hairy variety should be nearer 35%, compared with double that figure last year. This season Zespri International, the industry's marketing arm, is expecting to ship some 200,000 cases of Gold to the UK as more vines come into bearing. Fruit is also larger sized. It is also keen to differentiate between the two varieties, believing both can be retailed at the same time. "Gold, which holds its maturity pressure at around 4kg, should be treated more like stone fruit," said Kirby. She also reports that multiples such as Tesco and Safeway are planning more sales of the traditional Hayward variety this season and are looking for increases of between 10% and 20%. The New Zealanders have a strategy to become worldwide suppliers of the gold variety and are planning to plant 1,000 hectares in Europe, targeting France, Italy and Portugal, keeping commercial control. Iran has also been tipped as an interesting site. According to trade sources, negotiations at present are furthest advanced in Italy, for 20 hectares. European growers are becoming increasingly interested in other types of golden fruit, particularly one called Chinabelle, bred at Montauban University. Planting of limited quantities will start in that part of France this winter. A smaller, hairless variation known as arguta, already renamed klawa in France and waiki in Germany, is in breeding programmes across the kiwifruit growing world, which stretches into South and North America. Scientists hope they can eventually hybridise these new types to create new flavours. {{FRESH PRODUCE }}