Australian and Chilean companies join forces to provide the market with new high-quality varieties this year
Australian berry breeder IQ Berries (IQB) has joined forces with Chile’s Osiris Plant Management to develop and bring new, innovative blueberry varieties to the marketThe varieties will combine large size and firmness, a popping texture, sweet flavour (high Brix levels), attractive colour and bloom, high-yielding crops from the first season of production, and a long shelf life.
“Our goal has always been to connect our varieties of unique attributes and features with both growers across the Americas and markets to captivate the end consumer,” said Danny Francis, commercial director for IQB.
With more than 10 years of experience, Francis is also the creator of Pop Worldwide, which became the largest berry supplier to Marks & Spencer in 2020.
These blueberries are best suited to regions where low accumulation of chilling units (zero chilling hours) occur, making the ideal for warmer territories including Peru, northern Chile, Colombia, and Mexico, among others.
“South America is a highly strategic growth territory for the global consumer market,” said Francis. “IQB and Osiris Plant Management are proudly partnering not only to select the best growers in that territory, but also to manage the import, quarantine and multiplication of genetics.”
IQB said the new varieties adapt very well to cultivation in pots, which enables higher plant density and therefore higher yields, customisation of specific culture substrates for better fruit quality, and optimised use of water and fertilisers, among other advantages.
“This new genetic line makes a difference to what the industry is currently working on regarding attributes and the semi-open commercialisation model,” the company said.
According to Lucía Corbetto, a partner of Osiris Plant Management, one of the goals of the joint venture is to promote these blueberry varieties and maintain a close relationship with the growers, guiding and advising them during the production stage in order to reach the full potential regarding the attributes demanded by the markets and establishing them as a benchmark.
“We hope that growers and exporters contact us to learn more about the great attributes of these varieties and their commercial advantages,” she said.
“A fruit like the blueberry is becoming an increasingly popular product worldwide and is gaining popularity with consumers.”
Based in Brisbane, Australia, IQB is involved in enhancing development of high-quality blueberries. The company is headed by Peter Rolfe, who has over 20 years of experience in cultivation of berries with excellent genetics, such as the high quality and low chill Southern Highbush.
IQB’s research and development work will be supported by Osiris Plant Management, a Chilean company specialising in plant genetics representation, intellectual property management and marketing of innovative fruit varieties.
Osiris is the license holder for the Americas region, from the US to Chile. It also offers sublicensing agreements to growers and exporters who want to produce the new varie