On Tuesday, 7 June 2022, Italy's G-Berries presented its new approach to breeding in Cesena with the Gil Program. The breeding company wants to go beyond the concept "I select and you buy" by creating a network that brings together needs, research, and knowledge on an international scale.
Click here for the photo album. The team of G-Berries.
"Everything started with an idea from our beloved father Gilberto," said Matteo and Luca Molari. "The idea originated with him many years ago. We took his vision and adapted it to today's needs. In practice, we work with up to 8 foreign and 4 Italian companies, letting the research be guided by the distinctive characteristics of each growing area and consumption market."
Group photo with the representatives of the foreign and Italian companies involved in the project.
This means no longer a single variety that is attempted to be adapted to all areas but rather multiple breeding ranges that arise from shared choices. "We carry out the research, but the companies guide us to the goal by expressing their needs. In short, we are moving towards personalized breeding."
To be efficient, the project engages with a limited number of companies. The foreign companies that have joined the Gil Program (Gil is the diminutive of Gilberto) are FamilyTree Farms (UK), Berry Gardens (UK), Frutania (Germany), Angus (UK), Agronom Berries (Poland), Hall Hunter (UK) and Berries Pride (Netherlands). The Italian companies are Sant'Orsola, Spreafico and I Frutti di Gil.
"The project is intended for the medium and long term, and the aim is to improve the current soft fruit supply. The focus is on raspberries, but a research program for other soft fruits is not excluded," said Matteo Molari.
Some very interesting raspberry varieties are in testing already, including a hybridized variety in Cesena. "We have also invested in a new trial field of over a hectare, located north of Cesena, where we can expand our research."
On 7 June 2022, a presentation of the project took place in Cesena in the morning and a panel test was followed by a visit to the plant nursery in the afternoon. "In the last 7 years, we have sold 14 million plants of our raspberry variety Enrosadira. However, this success does not stop us from looking ahead and researching varieties suitable for different growing areas," concluded Matteo.
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