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New partnership to develop bigger, tastier blueberries


Consumers across the world may soon be experiencing tastier, fuller-sized blueberries year-round, thanks to a new breeding partnership in blueberries that will bring premium quality berries to customers across the world.

Plant & Food Research and global fresh produce company T& G Global have announced they are entering into a new agreement to breed and commercialise exciting new varieties of blueberries to be sold globally.

The breeding programme will produce new varieties of blueberry that will provide improved yield and resistance to disease while also delivering consumers larger, tastier berries over a longer period, with an extended harvest season.

The first new commercial varieties could be launched globally in the next 12 months under T&G Global’s Orchard Rd brand.

“Blueberries are a key strategic play for us in building our global portfolio, and we’re delighted to build another global category to emulate the success of our premium apple brands. We know there is strong consumer demand for blueberries and teaming up with Plant & Food Research means we get access to a pipeline of world-class varieties,” says Gareth Edgecombe, CEO of T&G Global.

“Securing exclusive rights to the best varieties is the first step in our strategy to build multiple global verticals that drive and enable value and add demand through strong consumer brands,” he says.

The new partnership builds on an existing agreement that grants the global fresh produce grower and marketer, T&G Global, access to a suite of Plant & Food Research-bred and licensed blueberry varieties for production in Australia.

“Plant & Food Research and T&G Global have a strong relationship that began at their legacy organisations in the 1990s,” says David Hughes, CEO Plant & Food Research.

“T&G has an excellent track record of commercialising our varieties, most notably the apples branded JAZZ™ and Envy™. We are looking forward to continuing building on this history and delivering excellent blueberries for New Zealand and global consumers,” he says.

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