Fruits de Ponent shows its export potential at Fruit Logistica and presents new varieties with Fruit Futur

 

The Minister of Agriculture, Teresa Jordà, pays a visit to the stand to support Catalonia’s producers

 

As one of the leading companies in stone fruit exports, Fruits de Ponent is participating in Fruit Logistica to exhibit its potential in the sector.  To clients and a professional audience alike, the second degree cooperative has presented its catalogue which year after year adapts to consumer needs, both in terms of the fruit itself as well as its packaging.

Today the Minister of Agriculture, Teresa Jordà, visited the Cooperative Group’s stand at the international fair, accompanied by the delegate of the Government in Berlin, Marie Kapretz, and the representative of Prodeca Rosalba Arrufat as well.  A representative of the Cooperative received the Minister and was able to communicate the principal challenges currently facing this sector.

The pear and apple varieties adapted to hot climates and developed by IRTA and Fruit Futur are about to emerge on the market

  • The varieties are the result of an international program in varietal genetic improvement run by IRTA, Fruit Futur and the New Zealand Plant & Food Research partners to respond to the challenges of climate change
  • Turners and Growers (T&G) will be the licensing company on a global scale
  • The program presentation took place this February 6 at the international fair Fruit Logistica in Berlin

The IRTA, Fruit Futur and Plant & Food Research, owners of the program in genetic improvement for the varietal improvement of apples and pears, have signed an agreement with the global leader in fruit production and marketing T&G Global to market and continue developing new apple and pear varieties adapted to hot climates.  The varieties’ main characteristics are their excellent quality and high coloration in conditions of high temperatures and water scarcity.

After a more than 15-year group effort among the members of the international program in varietal development, the official presentation of the alliance with T&G took place this Wednesday, February 6 at the international fair Fruit Logistica in Berlin (Stand T&G Pavilion 6.2 / C-17).  The program members have decided to place their trust in the experience of a commercial partner like T&G to bring them to markets and producers around the world.

The presentation ceremony featured interventions from the Hon. Mme. Teresa Jordà, Minister of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Food of the Government of Catalonia; Josep Usall i Rodié, General Manager of IRTA; Gavin Ross, Group General Manager, Marketing & Innovation of Plant & Food Research; and Sarah McCormack, T&G Director of Apples & Pears.

The varietal program uses germplasm contributions from both New Zealand and Spain to identify parents with the key characteristics required for adapting to climate change: high heat tolerance, low water requirement and fruits with high coloration, good texture and excellent taste and conservation.  There is also a clear focus on improving fruits’ resistance to the pests and diseases significant in hot climates.

The adaptation of crops to the environmental conditions of climate change is currently one of the principal challenges this sector and our whole society must face to guarantee the competitive, sustainable production of healthy food.

 

The history of the program

The Hot Climate Programme (HCP) was founded by IRTA and Plant & Food Research in 2002 in order to develop new apple and pear varieties adapted to crop zones with high temperatures.

At that time, producers on the Iberian Peninsula, and specifically in Catalonia, were already beginning to experience problems with their traditional varieties due to rising temperatures: less red coloration, sunburns, soft pulp textures and a higher rate of issues related to storage.

The two institutions began to work together on this program when they realized that this problem would spread to other regions as climate change continued to provoke a rise in temperatures and that, therefore, the demand for varieties developed for these areas would grow around the world.

In 2003, Fruit Futur, an economic interest group formed by Actel, Fruits de Ponent, Nufri, Poma de Girona and IRTA, joined the project as an expert in the commercial production of apples and pears in Catalonia and potential interested party in these varieties.  The group’s expertise and profound commercial knowledge have been crucial to the development and evaluation of the program’s selections.

Finally, in 2018, the owners of the program chose T&G Global, responsible for fruit development projects as internationally successful as Envy®, Jazz® and Pacific Rose®, to market the program’s new varieties around the world.

These varieties will begin to arrive on the market in the next few years and will serve as an impetus to increase the consumption of fruit.