Kweli rapsberries Advanced Fruit Breeding Fruit Focus

Kewli, a primocane raspberry developed by Advanced Fruit Breeding

New varieties of strawberry released by the world-renowned fruit breeding programme at East Malling Research in Kent, south-east England, will be showcased alongside types of raspberry newly developed by Dutch group Advanced Fruit Breeding during this year's annual Fruit Focus event in the UK.

Among the strawberry varieties will be Fenella, Finesse and Vibrant, while the so-called primocane raspberries on display will include Imara and Kweli.

Fenella, a mid- to late-season variety bred in the UK to suit local conditions, is said to offer good rain tolerance allowing for more reliable outdoor production.

'With good main crop yields, a pleasant flavour and attractive, lighter skin colour than Florence, Fenella has a bright future for sales into most marketplaces,' commented Laura Amos of Meiosis, a company established in the UK over 20 years ago to introduce new fruit varieties.

Finesse, meanwhile, is an everbearing variety that reportedly produces high yields of heart-shaped berries with excellent eating quality.

'Finesse can be grown in both substrate and soil growing systems,' Amos explained. 'The lack of runners reduces husbandry inputs and the very good fruit display allows for a quick, easy harvest throughout the season.'

Finesse is also said to offer an advantage over many everbearer varieties because of its strong resistance to disease and adaptability.

Vibrant, which was named as the best new edible variety at the 2012 Grower of the Year Awards, has provided UK growers with an early season variety that apparently produces bold, large fruit of a uniformly conic shape with an excellent percentage of Class 1 and good, mid-red colour.

The variety is picked one week ahead of Elsanta and, unusually, produces two crops of fruit in one season.

'Vibrant is suitable for all market outlets and is currently accepted by the retailers Asda, Marks & Spencer, Morrisons, Sainsbury's and Tesco,' Amos added.

Raspberry ripple

New primocane raspberries Imara and Kweli are understood to be generating some excitement thanks to their excellent yields for spring and autumn cropping.

Both varieties produce fruit of superb size, quality, flavour and shelf-life, according to Amos.

'Imara is easy to harvest and produces attractive uniform shaped berries of beautiful colour that are not as dark as Polka,' she commented.

'The berries are firm, with an excellent flavour and have a superb shelf-life. Production in the autumn starts approximately one week after Polka.'

Kweli, meanwhile, produces fruit of an attractive, light orange-red in colour and which do not darken after harvest, with a shelf-life of up to 10 days not being exceptional.

Berries are said to be large – averaging more than 5g in early trials – and this is reportedly maintained in double cropping.

'Flavour is good and the fruit is very easy to harvest,' said Amos. 'The harvest season is similar to, or slightly later than, Polka.'