James Hutton Limited and The Greenery are expanding their partnership. They’re going to breed redcurrants together. This program aims to result in new, improved varieties. These will be made exclusively available not only to The Greenery. This Dutch cooperative’s growers and its clients should benefit too.

The Greenery is constantly trying to develop new products and varieties. And in doing so they create new opportunities for their growers to surprise consumers. The partnership with James Hutton Limited in the United Kingdom is in keeping with one of The Greenery’s goals.

It wants to develop new soft fruit varieties. The emphasis is on flavor, shelf-life, and yield. The Greenery already works with groups like the American breeding company Plant Sciences and the Italian Sant’Orsola. The James Hutton collaboration focuses on developing new, exclusive redcurrant varieties.

Breeding programs

James Hutton Limited is the James Hutton Institute’s commercial subsidiary. As such, it’s set up several breeding programs. These are for fruits like blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackcurrants. It also collaborates in cherry and fly honeysuckle research. The Greenery is also involved in this. All aspects of soft fruit genetics and agronomy are extensively studied. The James Hutton Institute’s scientists and breeders are doing this work. This research supports these Scottish breeding programs.

The James Hutton Institute had been testing black and red currants as far back as 1952. That’s led to the establishment of a very extensive collection of genetic material. It continues to be maintained. Researchers are also looking at white and pink berries and other interesting kinds of berries. The emphasis is on flavor, appearance, cultivation robustness, climate resistance, shelf life, and yield.

Meeting the chain’s demands

James Hutton Limited’s Dr. Dorota Jarret considered the collaboration a great opportunity for James Hutton Limited. “Based on current trends, it makes perfect sense to invest in new varieties. And even revitalize existing crops. That’s so they can meet the chain’s needs. This is growers, retailers, and, of course, consumers.”

“The Greenery’s already a partner in the James Hutton Limited blackberry breeding program. We’re delighted to be working closely with such a company. They recognize the value of research and innovation. It’s a chance to work closely with redcurrant growers affiliated with The Greenery too.”

“It’s probably going to be two to three more years before promising redcurrant varieties emerge. But, the project has a five-year duration. And, in that time, we expect to identify leading families and lines. These can be further developed into varieties. That’s very exciting,” adds Dr. Jarret.

Pooling mutual knowledge

The Greenery is continually striving to create new products and, thus, opportunities for its farmers. Klaas de Jager is an agronomist who works with James Hutton Limited from The Greenery. “Products are identified as potentially meeting the program’s results.”

“As soon as that happens, The Greenery lends supports. That’s with field trials at selected growers.” Anton van Garderen grows redcurrants in the Netherlands. He’s proud of the collaboration with The James Hutton Limited in the new redcurrants varieties breeding research.

“The Greenery and James Hutton can strengthen the soft fruit sector. That’s in terms of product range and appeal. They can do so by pooling their mutual knowledge. The James Hutton Limited partnership will provide Greenery growers with opportunities. They can exclusively market new, tasty varieties. And so differentiate themselves the standard varieties,” Klaas concludes.

For more information:
Klaas de Jager
The Greenery Growers
Tel: +31 (0) 653 842 402
Website: k.dejager@thegreenery.com