Winter strawberry variety showcased

Delizzimo developed as high-performing variety specifically for winter growing under lighting.

Delizzimo: strawberry variety - image: HW
Delizzimo: strawberry variety - image: HW

A Dutch specialist strawberry breeder has developed a high-performing variety specifically for winter growing under lighting, which it claims could displace imports in northern European markets.

Speaking at an industry event at the Proeftuin Zwaagdijk research centre, ABZ Seeds director Ge Bentvelsen said: "Consumers see packs of Spanish strawberries at the start of the year and think they look good, but the taste is disappointing. Delizzimo will give consumers the taste they expect."

ABZ has already trialled a range of packaging formats for the F1 everbearer variety with customers. "Once you have bred a variety, you then have to implement it," said Bentvelsen. "The grower needs to know the lighting period and intensity, and you have to market it. The production costs will be quite high so you have to target it."

He suggested: "There are tomato glasshouses with lighting that might change to growing a strawberry variety like this."

Taste tests of the sweet, dark-fleshed variety have been highly favourable, with a blind panel tasting at Wageningen University rating Delizzimo higher than early homegrown varieties such as Sonata. Marketing is now in the hands of Belgian strawberry specialist Hoogstraten, Bentvelsen added.

Tabletop system Improved ventilation

Demonstrating a tabletop growing system whose every "table" is enclosed in a mini-polytunnel, Renko Schuil of supplier Metazet Formflex said: "The problem with growing in standard polytunnels is ventilation, especially as they get longer. This allows the wind to circulate freely."

At EUR12 (£9) per square metre, the format is no more expensive than high tunnels, he said, adding that though the format is finding markets on the continent, UK growers remain "fixated" on polytunnels.

ABZ Seeds director Ge Bentvelsen said: "We are breeding with this kind of system in mind," with Delizzimo and other trial varieties featuring long dangling trusses for ease of picking.


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Can UK fresh produce come out of Brexit ahead?

Can UK fresh produce come out of Brexit ahead?

UK production horticulture can become more profitable under one possible Brexit scenario, while other more drastic scenarios will lead to only minor losses in profitability, in contrast to other farming sectors, according to a new report by levy body AHDB with Agra CEAS Consulting.

Business Planning - Staff are your greatest asset

Business Planning - Staff are your greatest asset

An effective strategy to retain staff is the best way for any business to avoid a potential recruitment crisis, Neville Stein advises.

How should agri-tech research for fresh produce function in a post-Brexit UK?

How should agri-tech research for fresh produce function in a post-Brexit UK?

One area affected by the uncertainty around Brexit will be the ongoing development of agricultural technology, seen by many as essential to retain Britain's productivity and competitiveness in fresh produce along with other farming sectors.


Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Professor Geoffrey Dixon

GreenGene International chair Geoff Dixon on the business of fresh produce production
 

Read Professor Geoffrey Dixon