Dundee institute to continue blackcurrant breeding for Ribena manufacturer

Lucozade Ribena Suntory (LRS) has signed a five-year blackcurrant breeding contract with James Hutton Limited, the Dundee-based institute's commercial subsidiary.

Image: Ben Connan blackcurrants, © James Hutton Institute
Image: Ben Connan blackcurrants, © James Hutton Institute

This builds on a 25-year commercial relationship between Scottish fruit breeders and makers of the Ribena drink.

Speaking at the James Hutton Institute's Fruit for the Future 2015 event, leader of its soft fruit breeding group Dr Rex Brennan said: "I'm delighted that LRS have trusted us again to breed blackcurrant varieties for their iconic drink.

"Because of the tools we have at our disposal we can deliver varieties aimed at definite sectors of the industry, that is fresh or processing, while taking into account other factors like environmental change."

The James Hutton Institute and its predecessors have bred blackcurrants since the 1960s, all of which varieties are prefixed "Ben", and 12 of these are currently in commercial production.


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