The East Malling Research (EMR) Strawberry Breeding Club, a project set up to address important environmental issues relating to strawberry production, will be launched at Fruit Focus 2008 on 23 July.
EMR has teamed up with 12 industry members, including KG Growers, CPM Retail, Marks & Spencer, Tesco and Well-Pict European, to commit £975,000 (€1.2m) over five years to support strawberry breeding at East Malling.
The project, which is backed by Defra, will look at the impact of climate change, consumer pressure for pesticide reduction and the need to reduce carbon footprints.
"KG Growers is pleased to be continuing its long-held association with the strawberry breeding programme at East Malling by becoming a founding member of the East Malling Strawberry Breeding Club," said the KG Growers' Richard Harnden. "David Simpson (head breeder at EMR) and the team have some very interesting June-bearing selections under development, which KG Growers looks forward to trialling."
The strawberry-breeding programme at East Malling Research is designed to develop a range of quality varieties with overlapping seasons, which crop in succession from April to October.