We are returning to a topic that we have covered previously, but it remains one that is extremely exciting to us and our industry at large. Better flavoured blackberries are now more widely available to consumers and very much here to stay. There remains work to be done, however.
Sweet-eating blackberries, despite only making up a tiny percentage of overall berry sales, could be considered to be one of the greatest breeding achievements in recent times in this sector. They are taking up more retail shelf space and are available for a longer window. In those times when they are not available, the consumer is either returning to traditional types or not purchasing blackberries at all. That is a shame, but the industry is on the road to impressive progress.
There are a number of key factors to be employed to keep the sweet-eating blackberry sector on its growth trend. They include breeding varieties that perform in a wider range of climatic conditions. This will in turn mean that availability can be increased across a 12-month window. Production techniques can be optimized to extend the supply season in locations with existing production. Further, it would be great to see these types of blackberry available across additional retailers, so that even more people can get to experience them.
We are working with two varieties that offer superb flavour dynamics, namely Columbia Star and Von. These are likely to play a more significant part in the expanding blackberry market in the coming years. At the moment, we are lucky enough to be visiting a range of producers growing them in test plots. This means that we have been able to sample their sweet and flavoursome delights for ourselves.
Stay close to Global Plant Genetics for more news on the development of these exciting blackberry cultivars.