“It makes a difference,” he said.
Although other countries grow other varieties, John Fagundes, president of Cal Harvest Marketing Inc., Hanford, Calif., said the U.S. has imposed a ban on importing new fruit wood from New Zealand or Italy because of the presence of bacterial canker in those countries.
“At this time, we have no indication that (bacterial canker) is in the U.S.,” he said.
Phillips said he travels internationally and is aware of other varieties and expects to see some with commercial merit turn up in California at some point. When they do, he’ll be ready.
“We’re certainly willing to try new varieties,” he said.