According to the Horticulture Statistics Handbook, Australia produces more than 82,000 tons of strawberries each year, with a value of $435 million. Now, a five-year joint research project is underway to advance strawberry genetics to improve the flavor and quality in line with consumer preferences. The aim is to develop a premium range of strawberries that will target high-income overseas markets.
Delivered through Hort Innovation, the project is being led by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries Queensland (DAFQ) and supported by Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI).
QAAFFI Sensory Scientist Associate Professor Dr. Heather Smyth said the research will expand the range of strawberries on offer to consumers, mimicking the experience offered by fruit such as apples. Through establishing a range of strawberry varieties, the research aims to tailor the fruit to different consumers’ needs, whether that be for home or commercial culinary use.