New variety of ‘super’ strawberry saves 20% on labour

Abi Johnson, NIAB EMR, East Malling.

Abi Johnson, NIAB EMR, East Malling. - Credit: Archant

A new variety of strawberry which saves labour and creates less wastage is the subject of the next Agri-Tech East event.

Nutritious and Delicious – Innovations for Value-Added Crops will look at the Malling Centenary strawberry on February 22 at the Institute of Food Research in Norwich.

Abi Johnson, of research organisation NIAB East Malling Research in Kent, says it saved one Kent grower £3,500 per hectare in one season, and the £300m market for strawberries is increasing

“The new strawberry provides the same yield per hectare as the industry stalwart Elsanta, but it has a sweeter flavour and is larger. It is easier and faster to pick, is more consistent in quality and has a longer shelf life. These qualities combine to reduce labour costs and make it more desirable to the supermarkets,” she said.

“One leading supermarket told me that strawberries were their biggest seller in terms of value.”