New berry growers’ R&D Board to generate “significant benefits” - Fruit & Vine

New berry growers’ R&D Board to generate “significant benefits”

British Berry Growers, which represents 95% of all the UK’s commercial soft fruit growers, is set to form a new research & development board to drive sustainability and efficiency.

raspberries, blackberries and blueberries in a wooden bowl.

The Board comprises of six growers from the BBG membership and will be chaired by Dr Louise Sutherland, director of Ceres Agri-tech at Cambridge Enterprise.

Louise holds a PhD in plant pathology and is the chair of the Raspberry Breeding Consortium, with years of experience in the soft fruit industry.

The Board will have two main activities – delivering crop protection products and commissioning research.

It will work with Horticulture Crop Protection Ltd, a collaboration with all major crop associations. This includes provision of EAMUs (Extension Authorisations for Minor Use) and EAs (Emergency Authorisations), biological controls and biopesticides to meet the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) needs of UK soft fruit growers.

Research will also be commissioned to develop new IPM solutions for key strawberry, raspberry, blackberry and blueberry pests and diseases that affect the sustainability of the UK soft fruit sector.

Dr Sutherland commented: “This is an exciting development that will generate significant benefits for the UK soft fruit industry. British Berry Growers is keen to work and collaborate with researchers, businesses and other groups to develop IPM solutions for soft fruit pests and diseases either through Horticulture Crop Protection Ltd, or via our directly commissioned research and other projects where our interests overlap.”

The Board’s work is being funded by a voluntary levy paid by BBG members.

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