IQ Berries (IQB) and Osiris Plant Management (Chile) are joining forces to develop and bring new blueberry varieties with innovative and palate-captivating qualities to the market. Attributes of these varieties include large size and firmness, a popping texture, sweet flavor (high Brix levels), great color and bloom, high-yielding crops from the first season of production, and a long shelf life.
"Our goal has always been to connect our varieties of unique attributes and features with both growers across the Americas and markets to captivate the end consumer," said Danny Francis commercial director for IQ Berries. With more than 10 years of experience, Francis is also the creator of Pop Worldwide, who become the largest berry supplier to Marks & Spencer in 2020.
These blueberries are best suited to regions where low accumulation of chilling units (zero chilling hours) occur, making warmer territories ideal including Peru, northern Chile, Colombia, and Mexico, among others.
"South America is a highly strategic growth territory for the global consumer market,” said Francis. “IQB and Osiris Plant Management are proudly partnering not only to select the best growers in that territory, but also to manage the import, quarantine and multiplication of genetics.”
These varieties adapt very well to cultivation in pots, which offers great advantages such as higher plant density and the resulting higher yields, customization of specific culture substrates for better fruit quality, and optimized use of water and fertilizers, among others. This new genetic line makes a difference with what the industry is currently working on regarding attributes and the semi-open commercialization model.
According to Lucía Corbetto, a partner of Osiris Plant Management, one of the goals is to promote these blueberry varieties and maintain a close relationship with the growers, guiding and advising them during the production stage in order to reach the full potential regarding the attributes demanded by the markets and establishing them as a benchmark.
"We hope that growers and exporters contact us to learn more about the great attributes of these varieties and their commercial advantages”, she said. “A fruit like the blueberry is becoming an increasingly popular product worldwide and is gaining popularity with consumers.”
Based in Brisbane, Australia, IQB is involved in enhancing development of high-quality blueberries. The company is headed by Peter Rolfe, who has over 20 years of experience in cultivation of berries with excellent genetics, such as the high quality and low chill Southern Highbush.