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16 December 2019

Innovative Belgian apple variety

Innovative Belgian apple variety

As of today, the Magic Star, a new Belgian apple variety developed 2 years ago for Colruyt Group, is exclusively available for the second time at Colruyt Lowest Prices, Okay, Okay Compact and Spar Colruyt Group. Last year's limited production of 200 tons of apples - good for about ten weeks sales - meant that the harvest was no less than 5 times greater this year. As a result, Colruyt Group can start selling a month earlier this year and expect to be able to offer Magic Star apples until the summer. This is an good proof that is up to its original production, namely to extend the Belgian apple season.

Although the apple trees were planted only 3 years ago, in 2016, the harvest already exceeds expectations. ''We are very satisfied with both the volume and the quality'', says Jan Schockaert, responsible for puchasing fruit at Colruyt Group. ''The fact that such young trees already produce such high tons of apples is promising for the coming years. We can thank the excellent quality to the knowledge of our growers and to the nets above the orchard.'' Together with the growers, Colruyt Group invested in hail nets to protect the trees against hail, although they also proved effective against the extreme heat of last summer. ''The Magic Star apples had remarkably fewer burn points than other apples, so that more can be sold as eating apples''.

This is how Colruyt Group more than lives up to its second objective to support fruit growers. The group still works with the same three fruit growers as it did at the start: Neven Fruits from Waremme, Wolfcarius Fruit from Markegem and Gebroeders Bangels from Gingelom. They grow this new variety exclusively for Colruyt Group and the group is committed to buying all apples from them, including those that do not comply with class 1 and therefore cannot be sold as eating apples under the Boni Selection. These include apples that are too big, too small or have skin damage.Two new products are already being made from Magic Star apples that are not suitable for sale as eating apples: apple cake and apple juice from Boni Selection. The Boni Selection apple cake has been made from Magic Star apples since this autumn. In mid-January, Colruyt Group will start selling Magic Star apple juice in 3-litre crates. In addition, it is currently looking at the potential of other products, usch as apple crisps, apple sparkling wine and apple sorbet. Thanks to these by-products, the residual flow of the Magic Star is virtually non-existent. ''We have also noticed a great deal of interest from other, even foreign, growers in the Magic Star as a new variety'', concludes Jan Schockaert. ''As far as we are concerned, this is already a real success story, even though we are only at the beginning. 

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