University said it will continue to work with nurseries and growers in the 20+ affected markets

UC Davis

The University of California, Davis has announced that it is to terminate all strawberry licensing deals with Eurosemillas after the Spanish company defaulted on the agreements.

The university said it is taking steps to provide stability for nurseries and fruit growers during this transition period and ensure continued access to older UC Davis strawberry varieties. Newer UC Davis strawberry varieties continue to be available throughout the world per licensing agreements with other partners, Fresa Fortaleza and Global Plant Genetics.

Around 60 per cent of the strawberries consumed worldwide come from varieties developed at UC Davis.

“The UC Davis Public Strawberry Breeding Programme has been a huge success for consumers, growers, California’s agricultural economy and the global strawberry market,” said Helene Dillard, dean of the UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

“The step the university is taking today is necessary to support our growers and our programme, and to ensure the scientific breakthroughs at UC Davis and resources provided by the state of California are cared for, managed and marketed properly.”

UC Davis holds active patents on 20 strawberry varieties, all of which have been licensed to nurseries to sell to strawberry growers.

The university directly licenses strawberry varieties to California nurseries, offering state strawberry growers exclusive access to new varieties for two years and reduced royalty rates to give them a competitive advantage. The university also directly licenses varieties elsewhere in the US and Canada.

In markets outside North America, the university contracts with master licensees to work with nurseries, farmers and growers. International markets where UC Davis strawberry varieties are grown include the European Union, UK and Switzerland; Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru and Uruguay; China; Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Morocco and Turkey; South Africa; Canada; New Zealand and Australia.

“UC has been and will continue to be vigilant about supporting the UC Davis Public Strawberry Breeding Programme and honouring its obligations to farmers and growers to ensure access to high-quality, affordable varieties in California and elsewhere,” the university said.

“As a public research institution, UC diligently protects and promotes its intellectual property to maximise public value, support thriving agricultural economies and ensure reinvestment in university research and education.”