Seed World

Rijk Zwaan Starts Breeding for Soft Fruits

Rijk Zwaan announced the launch of a new breeding programme for soft fruits according to a release. This programme will include strawberries, blackberries and raspberries. The official start was noted by breaking ground on a new greenhouse at Rijk Zwaan’s facility in Dinteloord, the Netherlands.

“Soft fruit is traditionally propagated vegetatively rather than from seeds,” said breeding manager Pieter Egelmeers. “We are focusing on both in our breeding programme. Building on our knowledge of research, breeding and seed production, we hope to bring new and innovative strawberry, blackberry and raspberry varieties to the market that will of course add value for growers and other chain partners.”

“We are still at the very beginning of our soft fruit breeding programme, so it is too early to say when Rijk Zwaan’s first soft fruit varieties will be ready to market,” said Egelmeers, adding that it takes an average of six to 16 years to breed new varieties.

A new greenhouse and office space are under construction for the soft fruit breeding programme to use as an extension of Rijk Zwaan’s Dinteloord facility.

Construction work began onsite in April and is expected to be completed in 2024.