Berry latest research on show at Fruit for the Future 2022

The 2022 edition of Fruit for the Future, the annual showcase of soft fruit research presented by the James Hutton Institute and the Scottish Society for Crop Research, is taking place on Thursday 21st July at the Institute's Dundee site.

Fruit for the Future is one of the Institute’s most successful and long-running industry events and is aimed at farmers, agronomists, representatives of the food and drink industries, scientists and others interested in soft fruit. The event will follow its traditional format of 'fruit walks' around experimental plots.

Picture of Glen Carron raspberries with Fruit for the Future event logo in bottom left corner

This year, the programme includes:

  • Spotted Wing Drosophila soft fruit clinic, Gaynor Malloch, James Hutton Institute: Bring a 200g sample of fruit (raspberries, strawberries, cherries etc) and Hutton staff will test it for the presence of SWD. Results will be sent to delegates in confidence.
  • Updates from the Raspberry Breeding Programme, Nikki Jennings, James Hutton Limited: A visit to the Hutton raspberry demonstration tunnel, showcasing the most advanced floricane and primocane raspberry selections currently identified in the RBC programme alongside available commercial controls. The tunnels were established with the generous support of commercial companies Elite Tunnels, XL Horticulture, Ripple Aquaplast, Omex, AgriTech Services Ltd, Brinkman UK, Legro and BVB Substrates. After a walk around the plot, delegates are invited to taste and score some of the most promising genotypes. 
  • Introduction to the Redcurrant and Mixed Ribes Breeding Programme, Amanda Moura, James Hutton Limited: This breeding programme, in partnership with The Greenery BV (Netherlands), consists of developing new and exclusive varieties of redcurrant and mixed berries. Its aims range from improving visual appearance, presentation, higher yields, associated environmental resilience, sweeter and more retail-friendly flavours, better shelf-life and transport stability.
  • Weed Control Without Chemistry, Andrew Christie, James Hutton Institute: An overview of the weed control challenges in fruit plantations at the Dundee site and work progressing at the institute looking at non-chemical weed control which may provide an effective solution.
  • Improving Breeding Value for the Sustainable Development of Berry Cultivars, Susan McCallum, James Hutton Institute: The BreedingValue project aims to address some of the global challenges currently facing breeding programmes today. Researchers are seeking to recover lost genetic diversity which can help mitigate the effects of climate change while improving quality characteristics such as flavour, aroma and shelf life. Phenotypic and genotypic data is being collected across eight European countries, including wild relatives of strawberry, raspberry and blueberry, which will be combined with smart breeding technologies, image analysis, consumer studies and pest and disease screening to identify the key drivers of traits such as flavour and resilience.
  • Progress in the Blackberry Breeding Programme, Nikki Jennings, James Hutton Limited. Funded by a consortium of six industry partners, the blackberry breeding programme aims to breed new varieties with the desired traits to satisfy the increasing demand for enhanced sweet blackberries. Several advanced selections have already been selected for trials and will be displayed at the event. 

Dr Joanne Russell, SSCR honorary secretary, said: “We are proud to support Fruit for the Future as the event provides an exceptional platform to ensure that soft fruit researchers and industry are fully aligned.”

The event is free to attend, but pre-registration is essential. Book your place at Two BASIS points will be available to delegates.