Our berryfruit breeding programme develops new blueberry, raspberry, blackcurrant and Boysenberry cultivars.
Our scientists focus on the intrinsic health benefits of berryfruit and on developing new cultivars with high levels of antioxidants and other healthful compounds. In addition, cultivars are bred to have superior fruit quality and taste. We are also developing new cultivars with improved machine harvesting properties.
Utilising breeding sites across New Zealand and offshore allows us to develop cultivars specific to local conditions. Pest and disease resistance, chill requirement and yield are also key targets for new cultivars.
Plant & Food Research has over 25 years' experience in berryfruit breeding, releasing a number of successful cultivars:
- Low chill, early season blackcurrants ‘Blackadder’ and ‘Melina’ with good juice and processing characteristics
- Southern highbush blueberry ‘Blue Bayou’ suitable for both fresh sales and processing
- Highbush ‘Blue Moon’ and ‘Sunset Blue’ blueberries with early season, large, firm fruit and good bloom
- Rabbiteye blueberry ‘Centra Blue’ and ‘Sky Blue’ for fresh sales
- Home garden ‘Hortblue Poppins’ and ornamental blueberries ‘HortBlue Petite’ and Hortblue Onyx’ suitable for pot planting
- Fresh market raspberries ‘Adele’, ‘Korere’ and ‘Awaroa’ with good shelf life
- ‘Motueka’ raspberries, resistant to Raspberry Bushy Dwarf virus, suitable for machine harvesting and used for processing
- ‘Wakefield’, a high yielding raspberry suitable for machine harvesting and processing
- ‘Karaka Black’ blackberries with exceptionally firm flesh and resistant to blackberry rust
- Bite-sized Hortgem series of kiwiberry (Actinidia arguta), including 'Hortgem Tahi'.