Company will present new cherry programme at next week’s International Cherry Open Day  in Mequinenza, Spain  

Bloom Fresh cherries

Bloom Fresh will showcase its early low chill varietal innovations at an International Cherry Open Day next week. Some 100 growers, retailers and marketers have been invited to the event, which takes place in Mequinenza, Spain on 9-10 May, when the major, early cherry varieties are at their best.

“This special two-day programme will offer an unprecedented opportunity to learn more about our cherry programme which includes such varieties Cheery Treat, Cheery Nebula and Cheery Cupid amongst others,” the company said. 

“After years of research, the global unveiling of the programme represents one of the most important and special events for Bloom in recent years.” 

At the open day, international cherry commercial manager, Alwyn van Jaarsveld, and Antonia Sánchez-Labbé, international technical manager for cherries, will discuss how the new varieties can fill market gaps and allow growers around the world to farm more cherries under changing conditions. 

“Instead of the majority of cherries being grown in just a handful of regions, we are essentially expanding the world’s cherry crops by allowing new locations to grow and harvest low-chill cherries,” van Jaarsveld said. “If only a few places are growing cherries and inclement weather hits that region, it can adversely affect the entire cherry crop, affecting supply and quality and hurting the whole cherry category.

“However, by expanding the regions where cherries can grow, such as Mexico, Western Australia and Peru – it creates more favourable conditions for growers, retailers and ultimately benefits consumers who continue to adore this fruit.” 

Rising temperatures and drier conditions has made it harder to grow cherries in many regions. Bloom’s low-chill cherry programme helps growers around the world to harvest cherries with fewer chill hours during the winter. Its varieties need less than half the 800-1,000 chill hours (below 7.2°C) required by most cherry trees.

“Our low-chill cherries are all harvest early, meaning they are the first cherries that consumers will see, taste, and provide the make-or-break experience that will entice the public to return for future purchases,” said Sánchez-Labbé. 

Bloom uses modern, non-GMO technologies to select the best genetic material for use in its breeding programme. This allows the weeding out of weaker progeny to ensure robust, hardy varieties that are grower-friendly, more disease resistant, and can withstand the rigor of hot, dry summers while still producing a good crop.   

“We know we have amazing varieties, but we are very focused on making sure growers have all they need to create successful cherries,” said Sánchez-Labbé.  “Our goal is to combine good growing sites, certified trees, clean wood, excellent rootstock, not to mention our good varieties before, adding different technologies to produce bigger and better fruit and higher yields whilst withstanding a more adversarial climate.”