Italian soft fruit specialist Molari Berries & Breeding has big plans for its new G-Berries venture during the next five years, and the fact it has already formed a partnership with Dole to test and develop commercial production in Mexico suggests those plans will be realised soon.
Formed at the beginning of 2021 with its own investment plan, the fully independent company focuses on breeding, applied research, and IP management. “We define our approach as contemporary and tailor-made breeding,” says Luca Molari, managing partner at G-Berries.
“We’re not aiming at the best variety in objective terms, but we’re looking for the best variety for each partner’s specific needs. In a world where consumption habits, trends and demand are changing day by day, through one-to-one collaborations, we aim to preview your 2025 or 2030 needs.”
After months of meetings, Luca and Matteo Molari, alongside R&D manager Oscar Vargas and general manager for Mexico Luis Guillermo de la Torre, were proud to announce the promising new collaboration with Dole, which centres around the Mexican market.
Dole Diversified, a division within the larger group, now has exclusive, fast-track access to new genetics created by the G-Berries breeding programme. During a test phase that is already underway with two initial selections, the partners will identify advanced cultivars that are best suited to Dole Diversified’s needs in its Mexican growing locations, which supply markets worldwide. Through continuous communication and feedback, G-Berries will breed exactly the kind of fruit Dole is looking for.
“For our new company, this is an incredible starting point and we’re establishing a wonderful relationship with the Dole team,” Luca Molari adds. “Our new strategy is clear: to work together in one-to-one collaborations to breed and select what producers are looking for in terms of fruit quality and consumers preferences. Mexico is the first market where we’re launching this new approach because we think it’s a really strategic one and we couldn't have had a better partner, since Dole is focused on berries more than ever.”
For Dole, which now comprises Total Produce and Dole Food Company following their recent merger, the importance of accessing the best berry varieties is clear. “We are the largest producer of fruit and vegetables worldwide, and berries represent a strategic opportunity and a major focus for growth for the company,” it says in a statement.
“Through our fully integrated supply chain, we are able to supply our diverse customer portfolio spread across the Americas, Europe, Middle East and Asia year-round. As consumer tastes and preferences continue to evolve, we believe the future growth in the berry category comes from varietal advancements and that is why we continue to prioritise the development of new varieties through close collaboration with premium breeders, such as G-Berries, in order to achieve that growth and continue producing high-quality berries.