UK soft fruit supplier CPM, part of the AG Thames Group, has announced the successful trialling of two new strawberry varieties.

The varieties are the first results of an exclusive breeding programme at East Malling Research in Kent, southern England, which aims to produce new strawberry varieties that outperform current quality and agronomic standards.

“Although still being trialled, results so far have been extremely positive and we expect commercial volumes to be widely available in 2017,' said CPM's Tom Rogers. “Both selections have continued to perform well and be more productive than the standard varieties. As we continue the process it will be possible to continue to improve on this with better understanding of the new varieties through time.”

One of the varieties is expected to be larger than normal with a glossy and sweet fruit, while the other will be slightly smaller with a dense, juicy flesh and a balanced sugar and acid flavour profile.

“The breeding programme is unique in its focus to look for varieties that perform well in substrate,' Rogers continued. “It is a system that is becoming most widely used by growers due to its unrivalled benefits. We are therefore well placed to provide our dedicated growers and our customers with material that can help their businesses grow and outperform the competition.”

Abi Johnson, from East Malling Research, added: “These selections looked extremely promising at East Malling Research, and I’m delighted to see an equally good performance in grower trials.”