CIV’s latest strawberry innovations were presented at the recent North American Strawberry Symposium (NASS) that took place from 7-10 March 2023 in San Louis Obispo, California/USA. Mauro Grossi, president of CIV, explains: “During the Symposium, our partner Idris Consulting in the person of Ir. Johan Aelterman was the featured CIV speaker in the Genetics & Breeding session with a presentation “40 years of strawberry breeding – 40 years of hydroponic production”. CIV has in fact been engaged for 40 years in the selection of strawberry varieties capable of providing high quality fruit that can be grown with low energy requirements, low labour costs and low environmental impact. While our partner Idris has 40 years of practical experience in hydroponic strawberry production and consultancy in various climates from the polar circle to the Mediterranean.
For this reason, our partner Idris, Grossi continues, “recently built an Itracon Selection Centre test greenhouse in Serskamp, Belgium, with around 30 new CIV strawberry varieties and selections that are actually being evaluated for their suitability for hydroponic strawberry production with LED light. In particular, the main focus is on low cold requirement varieties and very early high cold requirement varieties. In parallel in the same area, a new greenhouse will be used to test 30 new re-flowering varieties”.
For its strawberry varietal selection and innovation activities, CIV systematically carries out its own ongoing research activities in experimental trial fields located in various suitable areas in Italy, Huelva/Spain, Northern Europe and the UK with the aim of identifying the agronomic value and satisfactory utilisation of our varietal innovation and related agronomic production techniques.
“The American event – concludes President Grossi – was also an important opportunity to meet/update with our current partners from the American continent (Canada, USA, Mexico, etc.) and internationally (Europe, Asia, Australia, etc.), and at the same time an important showcase for the latest CIV news with many international contacts for the development of our projects around the world”.
The Consortium proposes an extremely articulated and complete strawberry portfolio to best meet the needs of both producers in the different geographical areas according to the production system (open field, above ground, greenhouse, hydroponics, etc.) and global distribution.
Among the everbearers that are produced in Northern Europe, MURANOpbr continues to have excellent penetration in the English and North American markets. As well as other newer varieties such as: ANIA®/CIVRH612pbr, which has a flavour similar to wild strawberries; CANTUS®/CIVRH621pbr, which has an excellent shelf-life. Among the CIV varieties with low chilling requirements are strawberries typical of the Casertano and Napoletano areas, where PARTHENOPE®/CIVS115pbr is produced, characterised by early ripening and high fruit quality in the cold winter months; among the same category SHAYDA®/CIVL519* and ARDEA®/CIVL514* are mainly produced in the area of Huelva in Spain and Morocco, early ripening varieties, resistant at very low temperatures; or among the high chilling varieties, selected for areas with a continental climate, LYCIA®CIVNB557pbr, which manages to combine excellent productivity with excellent fruit quality, or KLODIA®CIVH725*, a productive variety with an earlyness similar to CLERYpbr, whose fruit has a very sweet flavour, a pronounced aroma and an attractive colour.
With reference to apple trees and fruit trees in general – adds Mauro Grossi – “CIV is a Founding Member of the International New Varieties Network (INN), whose update meetings were held between 06 and 11 March 2023 in Melbourne, Australia, and in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand, in which the Vice-President Pier Filippo Tagliani participated on behalf of CIV”.
“A fruitful meeting – emphasises Pier Filippo Tagliani – between leading nursery companies in their respective countries with the common goal of increasingly improving our network capabilities to support the development of new varieties with a global vision and to manage and co-ordinate new projects as one group at international level”. The INN network consists of a group of companies with significant expertise in a wide range of disciplines, including the creation and development of new and unique varieties, nursery production and variety marketing. INN members have been working together for more than 20 years providing their services and expertise to variety owners and growers around the world.
Among the most recent CIV’s projects that we are promoting also through the INN network are, among others, the apple variety RedPop®/CIVM49pbr – for which VOG is the exclusive European Licensee – which is currently being tested in several non-EU countries such as the USA, Canada, South Africa and New Zealand.
The result of the CIV Research & Development Programme is also the very recent Desy®/CIVM65* apple variety, developed by the exclusive European Licensee Rajpol Sp. Z.o.o., one of the most important Polish cooperatives. Its characteristics also make it very interesting for the Asian market: very attractive bright red colouring, crisp, juicy and very sweet flesh. The plant is rustic, resistant and easy to manage, a true promise of apple growing on a global level.