New Planasa R&D center seeks to boost berry production in Mexico

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New Planasa R&D center seeks to boost berry production in Mexico

Advanced genetic research firm Planasa is opening a new R&D center in Mexico, as the company seeks to develop new red berry varieties to supply growers in the U.S. and Latin American markets.

The facility, which will be located in Jacona, is Planasa's fourth worldwide and the firm's second largest. Other locations include Huelva in Spain, Aquitaine in France and California in the U.S.

The Spanish company's research focuses on meeting the needs of growers and adapting the products to the climatic conditions of growing areas in Mexico and the U.S., two of the top producing countries in the continent.

The center will be dedicated primarily to breeding programs for strawberries and blackberries, as well as research and development for all four major berry categories.

Specifically, strawberry trials will focus on drought conditions, salinity and hardiness (air, soil and fungi). 

For blackberries, the objective is to develop cultivars without thorns, with linear production and good fruit quality, without reversion and sweeter in flavor. 

In the case of blueberries, the aim is to learn about the adaptation and best management for the six varieties in the company's current commercial portfolio, with special focus on three of them: Blue Madeira, Blue Maldiva and Blue Manila. 

Finally, for raspberries, development trials will be conducted with several advanced selections from central Spain.

The new facility has a total area of 17 hectares and a laboratory specifically designed to guarantee the quality and healthiness of the plant material supplied to growers, who are responsible for its subsequent cultivation.

Michael Brinkmann, CEO of Planasa, stated that the company wants to continue investing to increase its varietal development capacity, while maintaining its commitment to efficiency and sustainability.

"With this new center we are continuing with our growth and investment strategy set out in the company's Business Plan, as well as maintaining our commitment to the development of the areas in which we operate," he added.

Once in operation, the teams from Planasa's four R&D centers, located in Watsonville (USA), Le Barp (France), Cartaya (Spain) and Jacona (Mexico) will work on breeding focused on the specific needs and conditions of their respective markets.

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