The South African company behind the Peppadew brand has won exclusive rights to commercialise and market the sweet Piquanté pepper fruit following a lengthy legal battle.

Peppadew International has been embroiled in a fight over plant breeders' rights since 2005, but last week a South African court upheld breeders' rights owned by Piquanté Brands International - which licences commercialisation and marketing to Peppadew International under the Peppadew brand. The rights apply in numerous territories including Europe.

Peppadew International was determined to rein in companies that had infringed its rights with imitation lines, said MD Phil Ovens.

Peppadew Sweet Piquanté Peppers are sold across multiples and independents in the UK. The company said there had been a significant uplift in sales in the past couple of years and has now promised new products using the peppers in coming months.