The tasty strawberry - the plant that offers both delicious flavor and good looks - can count on worldwide attention. "The FlowerTrials were really great for us in that respect,” says Gé Bentvelsen of ABZ Seeds. “Everyone came to see and taste, and since then the sale of the Summer Breeze seed has really exceeded our expectations. We're of course aware that we operate in a global market, but we did not expect this rapid growth."
Ahead of the FHTF, Gé Bentvelsen was very enthusiastic about the Trade Fair, which they are participating in for the fourth year in a row. "Bringing strawberries to a floriculture fair is special, but then again, our Summer Breeze, for example, could be sold for its ornamental value alone. But what attracts us the most: the growers are there. During the past four years, we have always had very nice contact with producers and we hope it will be the same this year. The interaction between all segments of floriculture - breeders, plant growers, traders - is simply superb.”
In contrast to Delizz, perhaps ABZ Seeds' prized strawberry, the success of the Summer Breeze was overwhelming. "With Strawberry Delizz we first spent two years bringing attention to it. The consumer is not the one who had to be convinced, but it was the sector itself, the growers and the trade. They had to test it, and it was only after that went well, when they had a good feeling about it, so to speak, that we started selling. With regard to the Summer Breeze, the market took to the product much faster."
Sustainable strawberry cultivation
Growing strawberry plants from seed has become well-established in floriculture, but this cultivation method is still rather unusual in the fresh market. "Wageningen University has now calculated that growing strawberries from seed may well be the most sustainable form of strawberry cultivation. A recently started research project at WUR Bleiswijk could also offer new opportunities for strawberry cultivation to make the transition to a sustainable cultivation."
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