New venture will focus on developing local production of SNFL’s table grape varieties

Special News Fruit Licensing (SNFL Group) and Syngenta Group China have entered a strategic alliance to continue to grow their businesses in China.

SNFL Syngenta China

Syngenta’s Zhao Zang, left, with Josep Estiarte

Syngenta is to develop a test block with some of SNFL’s most important varieties through its Modern Agriculture Platform (MAP) and local farmers’ network. SNFL will provide the plant material and support Syngenta growers from an agronomic and technical point of view to guarantee the best quality of their crops.

SNFL said the first licensed table grape varieties will be planted in Si Chuan and Shan Xi, where climate conditions and soil are optimal for the development and evaluation of its grape varieties.

Josep Estiarte, SNFL’s general manager, commented: “China is a key market to expand our activities in the future, and where we have been looking for the right partner to start varietal development locally.

“We are already promoting our table grape varieties locally through our exporting growers worldwide and we are doing significant efforts in different local markets; however, we do believe that partnering with Syngenta and their MAP network for sustainable local production will help to provide a 52-week supply of our varieties in China and will raise awareness through the demanding Chinese consumers.”

A key part of this initiative is MAP beSide, a programme that helps farmers grow very high quality, traceable crops in a climate-smart way. The crops end up in the country’s top retailers. In that context, SNFL said its sweet, crunchy, and large berry varieties will be a good fit for retailers and consumers.

Zhao Zang, Syngenta cash crop general manager of MAP&Digital, said: “New variety is very important for growers and consumers in China. We help growers to choose the good variety and give them the technical support; for them to supply these varieties to the consumers. So, we do hope to have good cooperation with SNFL on the Chinese market.”

SNFL and Syngenta said the partnership will help expand the horizons of new varieties to farmers, with both companies participating in their technical education and training and facilitating the connection with potential buyers.

“Chinese professional farmers need assessment on what kind of crops and varieties are most suitable, for local production and consumption, as they used to be far from the market,” they said.

“In China, people are very concerned with food safety, and retailers are trying to differentiate with quality. The partnership between SNFL Group and Syngenta MAP is pushing this upgrade back to agriculture.”