New twice-cropping Dutch strawberry "can succeed Elsanta"

Fresh Forward, a licensing spin-off from Wageningen University & Research, says its Opera strawberry could rival the currently dominant commercially-grown Elsanta strawberry.

Image: Fresh Forward
Image: Fresh Forward

The result of what it describes as years of intensive research, Opera is "a beautiful, large, shiny strawberry with a juicy bite and a high yield, well suited to continuous cultivation even in low light and low temperature". It crops in both autumn and spring.

Both Opera and Elsanta come from the same Dutch breeding programme and share some parentage. But Opera is reported to have a higher proportion of grade-one berries as well as boasting an open structure and low susceptibility to crown rot (Phytophthora cactorum).

Elsanta has dominated commercial strawberry growing in the UK and Netherlands over several decades.

Fresh Forward director Christian de Jong said: "The market has been waiting years for a strawberry that can succeed Elsanta in cultivation, and now it's here."

The variety has already been tested extensively by Dutch growers in a range of growing conditions.

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