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Westfalia launches two new co-owned avocado rootstocks from its breeding and selection programme

Westfalia launches two new co-owned avocado rootstocks from its breeding and selection programme

                                                                                                                                                                                         Press release

The protected plant material will soon be commercially available in South Africa and the USA

TZANEEN, South Africa, 3 August 2020 – Following more than two decades of thorough testing as part of its rootstock breeding and screening programme, the Westfalia Fruit Group is excited to be releasing two new avocado rootstocks, co-owned by Westfalia and The South African Avocado Growers’ Association, for commercial sale under the Merensky name.

Trees of these two new avocado rootstocks are being trademarked under the names of Leola™ (Merensky 6) and Zerala™ (Merensky 5). The novel rootstocks yield healthier trees and better-producing orchards under challenging growing conditions than do other industry-standard rootstocks, as confirmed in recent trials. The rootstocks have been released in the USA and South Africa, with commercial roll-out to be expanded as further trials deliver similarly positive results.

For almost 40 years, Westfalia’s R&D division, Westfalia Technological Services, has been researching disease-tolerant clonal rootstocks to develop selections with superior tree health and yields. The Group’s existing avocado rootstocks Latas® (Merensky 1) and Dusa® (Merensky 2), which were successfully developed and tested over two decades, have enjoyed increasing success with the support of loyal licencees, specifically Brokaw Nurseries from Ventura, California, and its affiliates across the Spanish-speaking world. These rootstocks offer high root-rot tolerance and higher yields, with Dusa® also offering some salinity tolerance. To date, Dusa® has been the top seller among clonally propagated rootstocks worldwide. Protected under Plant Breeders’ Rights, it is grown successfully in Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Israel, the USA, South America and South Africa. More than 1.5 million Dusa® trees are sold annually in the commercial market.

Now, with the launch of Leola™ and Zerala™, co-owned by Westfalia and the South African Avocado Growers’ Association (SAAGA), growers are presented with higher-yielding rootstocks developed to suit a range of growing conditions around the world. This supports the Group’s reputation as ‘Avocado Experts’ and as a pioneer in the avocado industry, and also enhances Westfalia’s ability to plant sustainable and productive orchards of its own.

The rootstocks were evaluated under a broad range of production conditions in various countries. Demonstrating tolerance to Phytophthora cinnamomi root-rot under heavy infection pressure, Leola™ was shown to outperform Duke 7 – the previous industry-standard rootstock – in initial productivity screening, and even outperformed Dusa® in recent trials. In addition to being selected for its high standard of productivity, Zerala™ is Westfalia’s rootstock of choice for growing in areas facing salinity challenges. Both new rootstocks will continue to undergo large-scale monitored plantings and trials.

South African growers can contact their preferred Avocado Nurserymen’s Association (ANA) accredited nursery directly to enquire about the commercial availability of these rootstocks.

The launch is of great significance to the global avocado industry, making greater yields possible under a range of challenging growing conditions and allowing larger volumes of fruit to be produced and marketed across the globe, to meet growing consumer demand.


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Nature Green offers organic Shiitake mushrooms

Nature Green offers organic Shiitake mushrooms
© Nature Green


Nature Green is growing premium-quality organic Shiitake mushrooms. “We make our own first-class substrate in house to keep a consistently high-quality harvest. To do this, we use the best organic raw materials, advanced techniques and cutting-edge equipment in our facility,” said sales manager Peter Sutherland. All of the firm’s production is certified with Organic Standards & Global G.A.P., ISO 22000:2005 and 9001:2015. Nature Green is located in Uzhhorod, on Ukraine´s western borders with Hungary, Slovakia and Poland. This strategic location allows Nature Green to make efficient fresh deliveries to any European country within 2 to 4 days.

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CVVP adds partners and launches Leanri

CVVP adds partners and launches Leanri, credit: CVVP
Credit: CVVP (



Spanish non-profit organisation CVVP (Compañía de Variedades Vegetales Protegidas) has been strengthened by the addition of a new partner, Fruit Growing Quality. Manager, Reyes Moratal, said, “With the incorporation of this company, we are progressing towards achieving our dual aims of attracting new members and diversifying our products.” Fruit Growing Quality produces gold and red kiwi marketed under the Kibi brand. “We are very pleased that a firm like Fruit Growing Quality trusts our organisation. This is a clear indication that our work is being appreciated by the sector. We welcome new partners to offer them the best possible service not only in citrus but also in other products like kiwis, berries, grapes.” The 2019/20 campaign will be the first commercial season for Leanri variety of mandarin, managed by CVVP since 2016. It is a high-quality mutation of Clementine x Murcott. The fruit, harvested between January and February, is seedless and has a red-orange colour, a round shape, and a smooth peel. Additionally, Summer Prim lemon variety will be available for next spring. This variety is in great demand among European distributors. 

For ten years, CVVP has supported its partner producers in the Spanish fruit sector. It provides auxiliary services to assist with the management, promotion, defence, licensing and development of protected varieties. Furthermore, it offers administration services, computer management and control, human resources, complementary and auxiliary marketing, communication and legal consulting services. CVVP comprises five partners: Club de Variedades Vegetales Protegidas, the Navel M-7 Association, New Lemon Company, ANBGCM Material Vegetal and Fruit Growing Quality.

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Innovation to be unveiled at Fruit Logistica

Fruit Logistica's Spotlight articles cover new and improved products, machinery and processes, systems and techniques, technologies, services, promotions and exhibitor campaigns to be presented at the fair.

An edible coating that extends the shelf life of melons (Decco), a pocket scanner providing the Brix value of a fruit sample (Sunforest), and a polytunnel with automated and permanent ventilation (Voen) are among the global debuts lined up for Fruit Logistica 2016, being held February 3-5 in Berlin.

Also slated to appear make their worldwide premieres are a new line of Pausa Pranzo salads with dressings, self-propelled harvesters for leafy vegetables (Ortomec), and two new attractive and tasty tomato varieties – Goutine (Hazera Seeds) and Belmonte F1 (Southern Seed).

These are among the innovations covered on the Fruit Logistica website in its Spotlight articles. The series provides an overview of new and improved products, machinery and processes, systems and techniques, technologies, services, promotions and exhibitor campaigns to be presented at the fair. The next deadline for submissions is November 30.