British Berry Growers have created a new Research and Development Board to help foster environmentally friendly practices and ensure efficiency across the soft fruit industry.
Dr Louise Sutherland, director of Ceres Agri-tech at Cambridge Enterprise at the University of Cambridge, will head up the new board. She is currently chair of the Raspberry Breeding Consortium and has a doctorate in plant pathology.
The board includes six growers, which represent various areas of Britain and different parts of the industry. Their goal will be to keep soft fruit thriving in the UK.
“This is an exciting development that will generate significant benefits for the UK soft fruit industry,” Sutherland said. “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.”
British Berry Growers says the new board will charge with two key focuses:
“Working with Horticulture Crop Protection Ltd, a collaboration with all major crop associations, to deliver crop protection products. This work 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.
Commissioning research 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.”