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Mission Produce joins Eurosemillas 

Mission Produce joins Eurosemillas 

Mission Produce, the world’s most advanced avocado network, has strengthened its global leadership by joining Eurosemillas in Green Motion. Green Motion is an international platform that broadens the varieties and rootstocks available to growers, advances the creation of diversified and sustainable markets, and facilitates access to the University of California, Riverside’s (UCR) germplasm collection. The platform was born after a ground-breaking partnership announced earlier this year between Spain-based Eurosemillas, a global leader in the development and commercialization of agricultural innovation, and UCR, whose 70-year-old avocado breeding programs house one of the most elite germplasm collections of scion and rootstock material in the world.

Green Motion is conducting trials of varieties that have already shown excellent potential at UCR’s test sites in California, a region with Mediterranean climate and growing conditions. Together with other member companies of Green Motion, Mission Produce will bring its world-class experience to evaluate advanced selections of four Hass-like avocado varieties and five rootstocks. If validated, these varieties and rootstocks will ultimately extend the front and back ends of the traditional Hass marketing window. They may also provide increased tolerance to diseases, drought, heat, and soil salinity.

Javier Cano, Director of Business Development for Eurosemillas, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have Mission Produce on board with us at Green Motion. Together we will work to build the future of the global avocado industry, creating a diversified and sustainable market and providing excellent new opportunities to growers around the world.”

Steve Barnard, president & CEO of Mission Produce, said: “Mission Produce is excited to be part of Green Motion. We are confident that with our expertise, we can help create an even brighter future for the global avocado industry.”

Brian Suh, director of technology commercialisation at UCR, said: “We have released several well-known avocado varieties available on the market today. We are thrilled to have our advanced scion and rootstock selections tested and evaluated internationally through Green Motion with the goal of bringing the next generation of avocado cultivars to industry around the world.”

 

 

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New avocados from the UCR and Eurosemillas more profitable and extend calendar

New avocados from the UCR and Eurosemillas more profitable and extend calendar © University of California Riverside (UCR), Louis Hansel @shotsoflouis
© University of California Riverside (UCR), Louis Hansel @shotsoflouis

 

The University of California Riverside (UCR) and Eurosemillas have signed a new agreement to develop and exploit a revolutionary new generation of more profitable avocados, with a harvesting schedule extended by at least two months. The avocados will also allow the expansion of suitable cultivation areas and will facilitate the introduction of intensive production systems. “We do not aspire to compete with the most successful variety, Hass. On the contrary, we aim to generate more value around it in order to respond to world demand, which continues to grow annually in double-digit percentages,” says Javier Cano, director of development at Eurosemillas. For this, the Spanish company has invested US$2.25 million in the UCR programme, which has more than 70 years’ experience and one of the best avocado germplasm collections in the world. It will dedicate another $3 million to the development of four varieties and five patterns. Such efforts will make it possible for the first time in the 31 years of collaboration between the two entities to market the varieties in Europe, South America and South Africa at the same time as in the US.

Indeed, during the last three decades, the international avocado market has multiplied by 2.5 and per capita consumption has quadrupled. Much of this success is due to the consolidation of the Hass variety, which emerged in California. Its wide acceptance has strengthened the demand for fruits with black and rough skin compared to those with green and smooth peels, which are the minority and less valued. The joint commitment of the UCR and Eurosemillas for this type of avocado has already borne fruit in a second successful variety, Lamb Hass, which extends the current harvest period for Hass to May and June. The new material that has been selected and has already begun to be planted in California and Europe. It has much more ambitious objectives and will enable the fruit to overcome almost all the agronomic and commercial limitations that this type of avocado still faces today.

All the varieties chosen by Eurosemillas are more productive than Hass. Two of them – one earlier and one later – will extend their harvesting period by another two months, which will allow the global supply of this type of avocado to grow in volume terms and from 5/6 months a year in each hemisphere to 7/8 months a year. A third selected variety, with somewhat smaller fruits but just as fleshy and with a spectacular flavour, will be marketed as a ‘gourmet’ product.

The fourth avocado chosen is a pollinator (‘type B flower’), which will reinforce Hass increase its profitability by over 10%. It is a variety that fulfils the same pollinating role as others used primarily for this purpose (such as Bacon or Fuerte).

The programme is focused on finding the best standard/graft combinations. It will be possible for avocado to be produced in areas where until now it has struggled to adapt, expanding beyond Malaga or Granada in Spain to Valencia , Cádiz, Huelva and southern Portugal.

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“Berries are a breeder’s business”

Digital Berry Meeting, organised by Mercados magazine copyright. Mercados revista

© Mercados revista

 

The high mortality rate among strawberry plants and how this affects the sector’s profitability was addressed at the second Digital Berry Meeting, organised by Mercados magazine. In a discussion titled: ‘Current situation of strawberry varietal development’, representatives of breeding companies, nurseries and producers analysed the causes of this mortality, which can reach as high as 30%, as revealed by Alfredo Arcos, technical director of Fresón de Palos.

The increasing diversity of varieties, from 20 to 117 in just over 15 years, according to the National Association of Strawberry Nurseries, together with the absence of active materials for soil disinfection and crop treatment, and the constant demand for earlier plants have all given rise to a breeding ground that is seriously affecting the profitability of commercial nurseries.

“Our profitability has plummeted, especially in the last three years,” said Javier Palacios, president of the association, who went on to say that “the business belongs to the breeders, who face no risks, while our profitability is zero.” And although nurseries provide healthy plants to their customers, if any problem appears, “we are responsible”.

According to Palacios, nurseries work with the sole objective of minimising mortality; for this, they scrupulously select the initial plant and, from there, they carry out an exhaustive follow-up of the clones according to criteria of fruit quality, Brix level, and yield. “It is almost impossible for a mutant to escape,” he said. 

Nevertheless, strawberry plant mortality remains a problem with an increasingly difficult solution. In this sense, Alfredo Arcos regretted that, currently, the breeder companies focus on the search for earliness or yield, at the expense of other issues such as resistance. 

Juan Manuel Arenas, director of FNM, and Francisco Jover, technical director of Eurosemillas spoke of their roles. On the subject of the possible causes of the mortality mentioned by nurseries and producers, Arenas added one more factor: the impact of climate change on nursery plants. As breeders, Arenas stated that they have two main goals: to offer varieties with tolerance to pathogens; and to provide their associated nurseries with genetic materials with sufficient guarantees for multiplication, which they then monitor. 

At Eurosemillas, Francisco Jover stressed the low mortality of their varieties, which amounts to just 1-2%. The breeding company has been in the sector for more than 50 years and, today, has more than 40 varieties of different species, including berries.

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Tango Fruits unveiling new business strategy at Fruit Logistica

Tango Fruits, the seedless mandarin brand launched by Eurosemillas in 2014, will be presenting the business strategy for Europe for its Tango variety (registered in Spain as Tang Gold) at Fruit Logistica.

Tango Fruits, the seedless mandarin brand launched by Eurosemillas in 2014, will be presenting the business strategy for Europe for its Tango variety (registered in Spain as Tang Gold) at Fruit Logistica. The citrus fruit obtained by the University of California, Riverside, but exploited beyond the US by the Spanish firm, is already the benchmark protected late variety in California, and also in the main cultivation areas in South America and even South Africa.

The batches imported from the Southern Hemisphere offseason last summer already carried the variety’s new certification label promoted by the Spanish company. A control system is used to protect the licence holders’ rights, which includes molecular markers that enable the variety to be identified at any point in the chain from the source to the destination.

The harvests that are beginning to appear in the main citrus-producing countries in the Mediterranean basin, lead by Spain, will also be sold this year with the label. Eurosemillas has also reached an agreement with the top EU citrus operator in the European Union, AMC-Fresh (from the Antonio Muñoz Company group), to place their brand and their mandarin on the shelves of the main continental distribution companies. This alliance soon will be joined by others with leading labels.