T&G Global's VentureFruit Supports Hot Climate Programme; Gary Wellwood and Eva Ogué Share
NEW ZEALAND - As the agriculture industry continues to contend with the changing global climate that has led to stark shifts in weather, T&G Global is spotlighting the Hot Climate Programme. Created in 2002, the breeding program is a collaboration between VentureFruit, Plant & Food Research, the Institute of Agrifood Research and Technology (IRITA), and Fruit Futur to develop climate-resistant fruits.
“We identified very early on the need to support growers through these challenges, and to ensure that consumers can continue to enjoy crisp, tasty apples and pears well into the future,” said Gary Wellwood, VentureFruit Global Variety Development Manager. “The program is now in its advanced stage, with a strong pipeline and identified superior selections on offer.”
VentureFruit, T&G’s newly established genetics and variety management business, is leading the program's commercialization and sees the importance of Field Days for its future development, as well as the industry as a whole.
At the recently held annual Hot Climate Programme Field Days hosted in Spain, 17 new apple and pear varieties were evaluated that have shown superior hot climate performance, as noted in a release. These varieties not only showed great resilience, but produced high-quality fruit that meets the production, supply, and market requirements for the industry.
All fruit is evaluated for taste, flavor, texture, and appearance and is benchmarked against commercial varieties. Following its evaluation, the data is combined with other consumer insights to present a clear market position for each variety. Throughout the process, testing partners actively participate in evaluating the fruit and feedback to the program on varietal parameters and future development.
“The evaluation sessions gave the breeding team the opportunity to have fruitful and enriching discussions with professionals from across the industry,” added Eva Ogué, International Business Development, Institute of Agrifood Research and Technology. “With representatives from eight countries and more than 20 fresh produce companies, it provided valuable insights and opinions which will contribute to the Hot Climate Programme’s alignment to market expectations and trends.”
Currently, hot climate tolerant varieties are becoming increasingly in-demand across the globe, and VentureFruit is looking to develop its worldwide network of test partners who, by way of an annual program fee, will have access to all varieties for growing and evaluation in their regions. VentureFruit is now canvassing for partners in North and South America.
“We are very aware of the changing environment we’re growing in and are committed to responding to climate change impacts, grower concerns, and future market demands,” continued Wellwood. “These varieties are expected to not only benefit growers in traditional regions where temperatures are rising, but we can potentially extend into new regions previously not suitable for apple and pear growing, and herefore build sustainability, resilience, and performance into the category overall.”
As more developments from this innovative program become available, AndNowUKnow will report the latest.