At Fruit Focus there was overwhelming evidence that plant breeders remain central to the success of berry and stone fruit growers, as numerous examples of new varieties were presented to visitors.
The UK’s leading berry growers co-operative, Berry Gardens, teamed up with American breeding programmes years ago to generate a flow of new strawberry, raspberry and blackberry varieties.
Among these collaborations successes include the market development of the early, glasshouse sector with Driscoll® Lusa™, contributing to a 37% increase in sales. Berry Gardens is developing its June-bearing strawberry offer, with new Driscoll® varieties Rosalie™ and premium variety Elizabeth™ rapidly coming into large scale production to replace established varieties such as Sonata and Elsanta.
In the new sweet, snacking blackberry sector, one of the most exciting developments in the soft fruit industry for decades, Driscoll® Victoria™ is predicted to enjoy 20% market growth.
In the raspberry sector Berry Gardens have a new offer in their Driscoll® Riviera™, a superb early primocane raspberry with large fruits and outstanding flavour. To meet the ever-increasing demand for home-grown blueberries will be Driscoll® Sweet Jane™ and Barbara Ann™ in 2016, both reputed to have consistent, rounded flavours.