NEWS: NIAB EMR launches new strawberry varieties

17 Jul 2019

 Malling Champion and Malling Strawberries launched at Fruit Focus

Rt Hon Robert Goodwill MP, Minister of State for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, launched two new strawberry varieties from the East Malling Strawberry Breeding Programme (EMSBC) based at NIAB EMR at the 2019 Fruit Focus event.

Malling Champion is a new ever-bearer variety with superior fruit quality, including a very high percentage of Class 1 fruit, and useful disease resistance.

Malling Allure is a new June-bearer variety that crops 12-14 days later than Malling Centenary the industry standard variety.

“These new varieties fill important niches in the cropping pattern for the UK strawberry sector. Industry hasn’t, until now, had an ever-bearer variety with high yields of high quality fruit,” commented NIAB EMR senior fruit breeder, Adam Whitehouse. “Similarly, industry is demanding a new late-season June-bearer that will come in to peak production after existing varieties – the importance again has been on finding a selection that produces a quality product for growers and the consumer.”

These are the first two new varieties from the East Malling Strawberry Breeding (EMSBC) since the release of Malling Centenary in 2013 – a June-bearer variety which is now selling over 60 million plants annually.

“We are delighted to add these two new varieties from the EMSBC to the portfolio of varieties coming out of NIAB EMR. Both have excellent yields and quality attributes, together with a plant structure which enables growers to harvest the crop efficiently,” commented Chris Woods, chairman of Meiosis Ltd. “Malling Centenary has rapidly become the single biggest variety we manage and we have little doubt that these two new selections will have a similar impact on the market.”

Professor Mario Caccamo, managing director of NIAB EMR, concluded “The launch of these two new varieties is the culmination of many years of dedicated work led by NIAB EMR’s researchers and breeders in partnership with industry. This is a great example of the impact of our work and the value of the collaborative innovation implemented by NIAB EMR’s breeding clubs.”