Westfalia Fruit Showcases Agricultural R&D at Fruit Logistica; Johnathan Sutton Details
BERLIN, GERMANY - A global company in its own right, Westfalia Fruit recently took to an international stage at Fruit Logistica in Berlin, Germany, to showcase its impressive, cutting-edge R&D efforts. Backed by one of the largest privately funded subtropical research organizations in the world, the supplier is continuing to drive avocado category evolution through disease-tolerant clonal rootstock.
“We’ve had ongoing success with existing avocado rootstocks such as Latas® and Dusa®, which offer high root-rot tolerance and higher yields. Dusa also offers some salinity tolerance, and it’s been the top seller among clonally propagated rootstocks worldwide with more than 1.5 million Dusa trees sold annually,” said Johnathan Sutton, Group Safety and Environment Executive at Westfalia.
Westfalia Fruit is one of the globe’s largest private investors in avocado research, according to a release. Based in South Africa, its world-renowned research program includes a team of in-house researchers, scientists, and technicians who are aligned with several key academic research programs around the world.
The team focuses on three areas to drive the industry forward: rootstocks, reducing inputs, and continuous development and exploration. In order to drive its mission forward, the team recently welcomed Solomon Ntladi, a respected rootstock breeder based in South Africa.
“Leola™ and Zerala™ are new rootstocks that were introduced to the market in 2020. With these, Westfalia can support growers with higher-yielding rootstocks developed to suit a range of specific growing conditions around the world. Zerala is the rootstock of choice for growing in areas facing salinity challenges. Ongoing trials in Peru are showing very positive outcomes, and the first trees are scheduled to be planted in 2024,” Sutton continued.
For over four decades, Westfalia has been researching disease-tolerant clonal rootstocks to develop superior avocado tree health and yields in varying local conditions that require minimal external inputs.
The company’s work also includes research into reducing synthetic fungicides in the harvesting process, with research focused on breeding plant genetics to be more tolerant to pests and diseases, as well as plant-based treatments.
To read more about Westfalia’s work, click here.
As the supplier continues to develop the avocado category and introduce its latest innovations, AndNowUKnow will keep you in the loop.