Seedless pepper nets innovation prize at Berlin's Fruit Logistica show

World first in salad breeding reaps rewards for UK-backed team at Berlin's Fruit Logistica show.

The British-backed Angello seedless snacking pepper took the Innovation Award at Fruit Logistica in Berlin last week.

The result of a 15-year collaboration between Melrow Salads of Merseyside, Marks & Spencer (M&S), Syngenta and Hazera Genetics of Israel, the Angello is currently grown by three growers in Spain, Israel and the Netherlands. It is available in the UK in 100 M&S stores.

Melrow head of new product development Bernard Sparkes said: "I set the challenge to a number of seed companies back in 1995 and Syngenta took it up. It has been an extraordinary piece of natural breeding by Benny Nir in Israel, to produce what is a world first."

Now in its 20th year, Fruit Logistica drew an estimated 56,000 visitors, 90 per cent from overseas, over the three days, 8-10 February. More than 2,500 exhibitors came from 84 countries, including more than 60 from the UK.

Bayer CropScience used the occasion to sign a preferred partner agreement with UK packer and importer Chingford Fruit, as well as with major German wholesale and cash and carry firm Metro Group.

Its vegetable seeds division Nunhems unveiled new developments in its Intense speciality tomato range, including larger sizes and rounder shapes.

Under the new slogan, "The Chef's Tomato", the company is emphasising the tomatoes' suitability for a range of prepared food dishes because they offer reduced waste and mess.

Product promotion German growers campaign for home-grown

The German Association of Fruit & Vegetable Growers used Fruit Logistica to launch a new nationwide consumer campaign.

It aims to increase demand for German-grown fresh produce and build consumer awareness of fruit and vegetables from Germany as premium products.

Germany is comparable to the UK at around 40 per cent self-sufficient in vegetables but grows just 20 per cent of its own fruit.

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