The Rivoira Group holds the exclusive rights all over the world for marketing these three ‘sister apples’, the main characteristic of which lies in being a fruit that is ripened on the tree and endorsed by the Bureau Veritas certification.
Between this year and 2024, the company estimates a production that will reach 200 hectares in Italy and that, worldwide, could reach 4,000 ha by around 2032.
“We have just opened our first commercial season and the first samples will be sent to the distributers in Rome, Boulogne and Madrid,” Marco Rivoira, the Group’s General Manager, explains. “At the moment, we already have 200 t of Venice and 80 t of Isadora, ready for packaging and sending over the next few months.”
Amongst other characteristics, the three ‘sister apples’ have a bright colour, a crunchy texture and constant sugar levels that are above 14 brix.
Gerhard Dichgans, Manager of the Samboa project, emphasises the genetic characteristics of these three apples, which are very well adapted to climate change, where heat waves are becoming increasingly more frequent. “This has been a very tough season for the earliest varieties such as Gala; however, the apples from the SAMBOA segment and particularly Luiza, the first to be harvested, have maintained a performance that is way above average, as cracking or black spot do not affect them in the same way. In this context, at SAMBOA, we are reaffirming the good agronomical behaviour of ‘the three sisters’. For all these reasons, the focus of our project is based on a concept of quality; and the slogan chosen makes this clear: “Every day of the year, a wonderful piece of fruit”, because anyone can enjoy a delicious piece of fruit every day, they just have to know where to look for it.
Three apples under one umbrella brand
“The three varieties, Luiza, Venice and Isadora have been grouped under this umbrella brand due to their own agronomical characteristics,” Marco Rivoira comments. “Amongst these, their resilience against pests, the genetic resistance to the fungus glomerella, tolerance of cold and, finally, their performance in extreme heat stand out.” The three varieties are harvested at different times of the European summer. The earliest, Luiza, shares the harvest window with Gala. Venice, on the other hand, is harvested at the end of September and Isadora, at the end of October. The idea behind these three varieties is to supply a market that covers twelve months of the year.
According to Dichgans, “the three sisters are perfect for creating a new group in apple categories. This would be the ‘super-sweet’, which is what most consumers are looking for in Europe, on the Mediterranean markets, and in Asia.”
For the first time, the new harvest of 2022 will have the auditing and certification of BUREAU VERITAS. In addition, it will be sold with the certification of being a “RIPE ON TREE” product, an additional and integral part of the new brand concept.”
The SAMBOA project will continue to move forward over the next seasons. After planting 125,000 trees of the three varieties during the spring of 2022, the aim of the Rivoira Group involves reaching the goal of 200 hectares in 2024.
New associates in Europe and on other continents have shown great interest in the projects. In fact, the first trial trees have already been planted in Chile and South Africa.