New strawberry bred for Britain

A leading berry marketer has launched a new strawberry variety bred abroad but targeted at the UK market.

BerryWorld said Viva Patricia was the first variety from the Edward Vinson breeding programme to be bred in Spain, specifically for the British market.

"Viva Patricia is an attractive berry, orange-red in colour and sweet in taste," said technical director Tim Newton, who expects to handle around 200 tonnes of the fruit this year.

"The berries have good skin firmness and shelf life, while not being overly firm in texture. The variety is available from January to May.

"Viva Patricia was trialled last year and customer feedback was positive. It eats well and has a better shelf life than Sabrosa."

Newton added: "We will assess its performance on a commercial scale against other varieties available at the same time.

"How much of the Sabrosa crop is replaced with Viva over the coming years will depend on how this year's trials perform.

"Viva has higher sugar levels than Sabrosa, which is delivering a good eating experience. It also looks as if it will produce more fruit than Sabrosa in the same field."

The new berry was named after the daughter of Vicente Domingo, who manages Peter Vinson's breeding site in Spain.

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