The GBC international Congress – sponsored by CIV – is a conference organised by Eurofruit in collaboration with Fruit Logistica, fully dedicated to the berries that are one of the fastest growing categories in the fruit and vegetable sector worldwide. During the three-day event, key players in the sector from all over the world will display their latest innovations in terms of product/service, with exhibits/shows, and will tackle the most important challenges of the next five years. The global production-distribution supply chain will be fine-tuned, from research to production to sales and the end consumer. Among others, attending as speakers, will be CIV Director Eugenio Bolognesi who – together with his own CIV Northern Europe Partner (Idris Consulting Ltd – www.strawberries.eu.com) Dr Johan Aelterman – will discuss the CIV’s increasing commitment to the research and development of new strawberry varieties, to better meet the needs of an ever-changing market.
CIV STRAWBERRY VARIETY PORTFOLIO
The new strawberry varieties Flaviapvr and Flaminiapvr have been met with great interest in Southern Italy, Spain, Greece, Morocco and Tunisia, where the first productions and pilot plantings respectively confirm solid performance from both an agronomic and a commercial standpoint. The two CIV-patented cultivars feature earliness, average vigour, the fruits are external to the foliage and easy to harvest, plants have high resistance to powdery mildew, and leaf and root diseases in general. Suitable for tired soils as well, they have shown good adaptability to continuous cropping and organic or low environmental impact farming. Both Flaviapvr and Flaminiapvr feature highly resistant fruit, which is harvested when it is in its best bright red colouring. Keeps very well on plant once ripe, allowing tangible savings thanks to the possibility of extending harvest by several days, even during the hottest season.
Muranopvr and Capripvr strawberries, instead, are among the most popular everbearers in Northern Europe; the Clerypvr strawberry leads the early segment in France/Germany/Eastern Europe and Canada, while Jolypvr is highly popular in Belgium. Along with Flaviapvr and Flaminiapvr, they are merely the jewels in the crown in the rich range of varieties offered by the CIV (www.civ.it/civ/strawberries), which today is garnering significant validation from both a farming and a commercial standpoint. “The CIV’s primary objective” – stresses on the CIV Breeder since its founding, Michelangelo Leis – “is increasingly to target our research activity towards the new development of environmentally sustainable strawberry varieties of the highest quality, to satisfy every player in the supply chain, from the producer to the end user at the international level”.
The Muranopvr strawberry certainly deserves a special mention: one of the leading varieties in the British market, it is particularly popular in the Netherlands, Belgium and Scandinavia as well, especially thanks to its organoleptic qualities and its high productivity. “The Muranopvr variety” – explains Carmen Leida, CIV Junior Breeder, who works with Michelangelo Leis – “shows good adaptability to a variety of environments and is in high demand by the market. Field data and observations gathered by farmers here and there around Europe, on top of the tests run in various research centres (e.g. PCH, the Research Centre in Hoogstraten), not only confirm Murano’s versatility and flexibility, they also highlight how various farming systems in combination with the type of plant, allow producers to plan harvest well in advance. Muranopvr is our flagship product in the everbearer category, the benchmark variety due to the quality of the fruit in one of the major English supermarkets”.
Lastly, the Nabilapvr strawberry is gaining significant approval in Southern Italy, and many Mediterranean countries, such as Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Cyprus and Greece. It is a hardy variety, perfect instead for soils with high salinity, with top quality fruit production. This variety is enjoying excellent results in soils destined for continuous cropping in Southern Italy (Basilicata, Sicily and the Sele Plain).
“In general” – concludes CIV Director Eugenio Bolognesi – “we can talk of seamless success for the CIV strawberry breeding programme, which has been active since 1984, and developed along four research lines: strawberries for the temperate Mediterranean climate, continental climates, everbearers, and varieties suitable for industrial processing.