Fresh produce consortium Origine Group has revealed that it has signed a licence agreement with Swiss breeder VariCom to become the exclusive Italian partner of innovative pear variety Fred.
Fred is the commercial name of ‘CH 201’, a variety developed after 18 years of breeding efforts by researchers at Swiss research centre Agroscope.
Michael Weber, managing director of VariCom, commented: “Fred has an attractive blush skin and handy size. The texture is firm, but crunchy and juicy. Aromatic and sweet, backed up by a light acidity in combination with an exceptional shelf-life, it gives the consumer a fantastic eating experience.”
In addition, he said, Fred trees show a low susceptibility to Erwinia and are high-yielding. “The cultivation of Fred has been tested in several areas, and fruits will shortly be available for real-scale commercial tests,” said Weber.
Alessandro Zampagna, managing director of Origine Group, said the decision to invest in Fred was taken on account of the variety’s organoleptic and aesthetic characteristics, as well as its shelf-life and high yields.
“Fred is an interesting pear for all involved in the production and commercial chain, and we think that the pear sector needs new varieties with these characteristics,” he said. “With VariCom and the French nursery Dalival, that will supply the plants, there has been an immediate understanding, and we trust this cooperation will bring very good results.”
“We are convinced that Origine Group, thanks to its production base and its strategy, represents the right partner in Italy, where it will be the exclusive producer of variety ‘CH 201’ and marketer of the brand Fred,” added Weber. “Italy is the number one producer of pears in Europe, so it will be crucial for the success of Fred.”