New apple and pear varieties emerging from the Hot Climate Programme have been evaluated in Spain.
The programme is aglobalcollaborationbetweenVentureFruit,Plant & Food Research,the Institute ofAgrifoodResearch and Technology (IRTA)andFruitFutur.
Gary Wellwood,global variety development manager of VentureFruit, said the breeding programme is offering a solution to climatic and environmental factors impacting apple and pear production.
“We identified very early on the need to support growers through these challenges, and toensure that consumers can continue to enjoy crisp, tasty apples and pearswell intothe future,” Wellwood said. “Theprogrammeis nowin itsadvancedstage,with a strong pipelineand identified superior selections on offer.”
TheHot Climate Programme’s annual field dayswere recently held in Spain, with 17 newappleandpearvarietieson show.
“The evaluation sessions gave the breeding team the opportunity to havefruitful and enriching discussions with professionals fromacrosstheindustry,” said EvaOgué of IRTA.
“With representatives from eight countries and more than 20 fresh produce companies, it providedvaluableinsights andopinionswhich willcontribute to the Hot Climate Programme’salignment to market expectations and trends.”
All fruit developed through the programme is evaluated for taste, flavour, texture and appearanceandbenchmarked against commercial varieties.
This datais thencombinedwithconsumerinsightstopresenta clear competitive market position foreachvariety.
Testing partners actively participate in evaluating the fruit and feedback to the programme on varietal parameters and future development.
VentureFruit, T&G Global’s newly established genetics and variety management business, is leading the programme’s commercialisation operations. Wellwood said his team recognised the importance of the Field Daysfor the development of the programme and the industry as a whole.
“Wearevery aware of the changingenvironmentwe’regrowing inandare committed to responding toclimate changeimpacts, grower concernsandfuturemarket demands,” Wellwood explained.
“These varieties are expected tonot onlybenefit growers in traditional regionswhere temperatures are rising, but we can potentiallyextend into newregions previouslynot suitable forapple and pear growing,andthereforebuild sustainability, resilience and performance into thecategory overall.”
VentureFruitis looking to developitsglobal network of testing partners who, by way of an annual programme fee, will have access to all varieties for growing and evaluation within their respectiveterritories.VentureFruitis specifically canvassing for partners in North and South America.