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British Berry Growers create R&D board to secure future of soft fruit

A new Research and Development Board has been established by British Berry Growers in order to assist in the promotion of ecologically friendly practises and to promote efficiency across the soft fruit business.

The University of Cambridge's Dr Louise Sutherland, who is now the director of Ceres Agri-tech at Cambridge Enterprise, will serve as the chairperson of the new board. In addition to having a degree in plant pathology, she is now serving as head of the Raspberry Breeding Consortium.

There are six growers on the board, each of whom comes from a different section of Britain and contributes to a distinct aspect of the sector. Their objective will be to ensure the continued success of soft fruit in the UK.

"This is an exciting development that will generate significant benefits for the UK soft fruit industry," stated Sutherland in reference to the recent announcement. "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," British Berry Growers said in a statement.

"This could be through Horticulture Crop Protection Ltd., or via our directly commissioned research and other projects where our interests overlap."

According to British Berry Growers, the new board will be charged with focusing on two primary areas:

"In order to supply crop protection goods, we are working with Horticulture Crop Protection Ltd., which is a partnership between all of the main crop organisations. This activity comprises the supply of EAMUs (Extension Authorisations for Minor Use) and EAs (Emergency Authorisations), as well as biological controls and biopesticides, in order to fulfil the requirements of UK soft fruit farmers for Integrated Pest Management (IPM).

commissioning research to create novel IPM solutions for important pests and diseases that impair the sustainability of the UK soft fruit business, such as those that harm strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries.


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