Sekoya Blueberries

Hans Liekens

Global blueberry marketing platform Sekoya is holding a special event for its retail customers to showcase the expected increase in availability of its eponymous quality brand across Europe.

The Sekoya Field & Forum, which takes place in Seville, Spain on 24 March, will feature new proprietary varieties for theglobal consumermarket and the Sekoya concept.

The forum comes ahead of Sekoya’s participation in Fruit Logistica 2022 from 5-7 April.

Attendees to the Field & Forum will have the opportunity to visit Sekoya’s research and development farm, and taste actual and future genetics in the form ofSekoya Pop (‘FCM14-052’) and Sekoya Beauty (‘FCM12-097’), two low/zero chill varieties that have been developed to appeal to consumers across the world.

The event will demonstrate how Sekoya addresses standards ofcrunchiness,quality, flavour, freshness and shelf-life for the category as a whole.

A strategic business unit of US-based Fall Creek Farm & Nursery, Sekoya was launched in 2020 with the aim of bringing high quality, longer shelf-life blueberries to retailers and consumers in markets worldwide.

According to value chain and retail manager, Hans Liekens, Sekoya was created with the objective of developing a52-week per year value chainin partnership with leading growers and grocery retailers, with all participating producers being able to draw on the same genetics.

“The aim of Sekoya is both to provide growers and retailers with a quality stamp and also to deliver consistent quality in terms of firmness, size and flavour,” said Liekens.

Collaborating with dedicated growers in Spain, the US, Mexico, Chile, Peru, Ukraine, Poland, Morocco, South Africa,Italy, Canada,Zimbabwe, France, Netherlands, Germany and the UK,the platform works across low/zero chill (Southern Highbush) and mid/high chill (Northern Highbush) blueberries.

To date, Sekoya has introducedfour proprietary varieties: the mid/high chill Sekoya Grande (‘FC13-122’) and Sekoya Crunch (‘FC13-083’); and the low/zero chill Sekoya Pop and Sekoya Beauty.

In the case of Sekoya Pop and Sekoya Beauty, two of their main attributes come in the form of an extended shelf-life and a sizing that combines with superior taste characteristics.

“They have avery longshelf-life of between 45-60 days, and will stay crunchy for over 45 days,” continued Liekens.

“This means almost zero waste for retailers. Combined with a bigger size, we believe the varieties will attract new consumers to the category.”

The Sekoya Field & Forum will give growers and retailers the chance to see and sample the qualities of both varieties up close, as well as to hear about the Sekoya concept as a whole.

“We’re inviting growers and retailers to come together, walk the field and try the fruit blind, as well as hearing a presentation about the future of blueberries,” Liekens said. “If you are in blueberries, you will want to be there.”