An unusual new fruit that looks like a giant cherry or a small plum, depending on your perspective, is being produced in Australia and tested in California, Washington State, and Europe.
The cherry-plum hybrid, named Nadia, was bred in Australia and is owned by the Australian company Cherry Royale. It has the size and keeping qualities of a plum with the internal color and juiciness of a dark cherry. The taste is intense and sweet, reminiscent of both cherry and plum. It is reported to have high levels of antioxidants.
The Associated International Group of Nurseries has exclusive rights to propagate and commercialize the variety in all countries except Australia. It has granted an exclusive marketing license for the European Union and Turkey to Univeg Katopé UK Limited. Univeg will have exclusive access to commercial volumes of Nadia from orchards in Australia, which will go on sale in U.K. retail stores in January 2014.
Univeg has established test plots with some of its cherry growers across Europe and the United Kingdom. The AIGN will retain propagation rights for Europe and will supply trees to European growers. Univeg will oversee the planting, packaging, and marketing of the product.
Univeg and AIGN have also signed an agreement that will allow Nadia to be used as a parent in the cherry breeding program at East Malling Research in the United Kingdom. Richard Isaacs, procurement manager at Univeg, said the goal is to have a family of top quality cherry-plums available to customers over extended periods from both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.
Lynnell Brandt, whose nursery Brandt’s Fruit Trees in Yakima, Washington, is the sole AIGN member in North America, said that so far there is insufficient production of Nadia in Australia to meet market demand in Australia, Asia, and the United Kingdom. There are no plans yet to ship fruit to the United States.