"The tasty strawberry F1 ’Soraya’ is an important extension of our range for the Fresh Market," says Gé Bentvelsen, breeder and director of ABZ Seeds-Gourmet Strawberries. “This ever-bearing variety grows well under sustainable LED lighting, producing beautiful, firm and long-lasting fruits that are ideally suited for the retail. The first strawberries of Soraya's demo cultivation are being tested in the local supermarket ‘Spar Midwoud’, as we speak."
ABZ Seeds, based in Andijk, The Netherlands, is a breeding company that specializes in the development of F1 hybrid strawberry varieties, propagated from seed. For more than 20 years, ABZ Seeds have supplied a wide range of strawberry varieties for the floriculture and the fresh market worldwide. In the breeding process a lot of attention is paid to taste, this is combined with developments in the field of cultivation and trends in the market.
Sustainable year-round cultivation
One of the market developments that ABZ Seeds have responded to is the shift from seasonal demand to year-round demand. “The consumption of strawberries in the Netherlands has grown enormously in 2019 compared to 2018, according to figures from research bureau GfK, among other developments. In one year, strawberry consumption in the Netherlands has gone from 2.6 kg per household to 3.6 kg. This figure indicates that there is still a lot of room in the market for growth. The strawberry is nowadays increasingly popular in winter as well in the summer."
Gé continues: “We would like to meet this increasing demand from the market in a sustainable way, which is why we have been working on varieties that develop well under LED assimilation light, for a number of years. From clean starting material, the plant grows into a strong and vital crop under LED. The fruits that are produced are also beautiful, firm, uniform and above all: very tasty! The continuous strawberry variety ‘Soraya’ has already proven itself in summer greenhouse cultivation, so the variety is suitable for year-round cultivation. "
'Soraya' grows well under LED
The specially developed ‘Soraya’ label & Strawberry 'Soraya' in retailer Spar Midwoud
Demo cultivation and test marketing of ‘Soraya’
Demo cultivation of the new winter greenhouse strawberry ‘Soraya’ is in full swing at Proeftuin Zwaagdijk. Not only the plant and the growing conditions are tested: the strawberries are also the subject of consumer test marketing. This takes place at supermarket "Spar Midwoud", where the first freshly picked strawberries were sold this week. "We are very pleased with this new partnership with 'Spar Midwoud'. It gives us a better idea of consumers' expectations of strawberries in winter," said Gé.
Jewel in the ABZ range
‘Soraya’ is a feminine name of Persian origin. ‘Soraya’ refers to Septa and also means "jewel". Strawberry ‘Soraya’ therefore shines like a jewel in the ABZ range. In the design of the label we used the fairytale-like Persian atmosphere.
Would you like to view the demo cultivation at Proeftuin Zwaagdijk? Then you can make an appointment with ABZ Seeds, call: 0228-515 280. If you want to be part of the consumer test marketing, you can of course buy the strawberries at 'Spar Midwoud', then you can taste for yourself why this is the most tasteful winter strawberry.