BayWa Unit to Introduce First Climate-Change Resistant Apple

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A unit of German agribusiness BayWa AG is introducing what it says is the world’s first climate-change resistant apple, as part of a program to develop fruit for growing in warm locations.

The apple, from BayWa’s T&G Global subsidiary, can withstand high temperatures and was tested in Spain, where conditions often exceed 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit), the company said in a statement. The producer will work with partners in Europe, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa to plant and market the variety, called HOT84A1.

Researchers have long been working to develop food commodities such as wheat and corn that can better withstand warm and dry weather. In recent years, farmers across Europe have had to contend with erratic weather including droughts, making it difficult to grow crops like apples.

BayWa Unit to Introduce First Climate-Change Resistant Apple

The new apple’s launch came from the Hot Climate Programme, which develops new varieties of apples and pears to grow in high temperatures. Fruits bred under such conditions are considered to be more efficient due to needing less inputs such as fertilizer or water.

“Despite the further expected climate change, which is posing growing challenges for fruit growers all over the world, the supply of healthy, safe and tasty food from sustainable production will also be ensured in the future,” Benedikt Mangold, BayWa’s head of global produce, said in a statement.

He also said that regions where growing pome fruits has historically been difficult are starting to be more appealing, with production and supermarkets moving closer together and transport routes becoming shorter.

The first commercial volumes of the variety will be grown on the Iberian Peninsula early next year, T&G said.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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