The UK companyAngus Soft Fruits(ASF) has just announced it successfully signed an exclusive licence agreement with the Sant'Orsola raspberry breeding programme in Pergine Valsugana, in Northern Italy.
Thanks to this agreement, ASF has been granted the exclusive right to "plant, propagate, cultivate, grow and produce the floricane raspberry varieties Lagorai Plus and Vajolet in the United Kingdom". Beyond that, the UK company has also been allowed to promote, market and distribute "UK born Italian raspberries" all over the world.
Established in 1994 by three soft fruit growers aimed to benefit both customers and growers through direct contact between the two, ASF has become one of the leading suppliers of strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries to UK retailers.
Commenting on the new agreement with Italy, ASF commercial director John Gray clarified that "a number of our growers have been testing these varieties for a number of years and were pleased with the results". Mr. Gray further stressed that "what matters to ASF is that the best berries are grown in order to deliver quality and customer satisfaction", adding that as far as he knows, "the new varieties yield better than Glen Ample with large, well-flavoured, sweet berries and have a good shelf life, making them good varieties for growers and retailers and ultimately the consumer."
While the agreement with the Italian partner was finalized in Milan right before Christmas last year, ASF product development manager Marion Durose highlighted that she will keep on visiting "the breeding programme in Italy with a number of growers this season and continue to build on the excellent knowledge sharing relationship already in place".
There is a lot ASF can learn from Italy, and this cooperation with Sant'Orsola breeding programme is probably the best way to start building a mutual fruitful partnership.