New Zealand Berryfruit Propagators provides a number of essential services to the strawberry industry.
NZBP ensures that the propagated plants are of an acceptable commercial quality by an informed selection of propagators, incentives and annual inspections of the propagator's properties.
A vastly important factor for strawberry fruit growers is to be certain that the variety of plants they are ordering from propagators are in fact the correct varieties. Any incorrect varieties being sold as others can lead to lawsuits and unpleasant negotiations. To avoid these situations, NZBP performs annual trueness-to-type tests in Auckland and Christchurch to ensure the correct varieties are being sold by propagators.
Imported UC varieties are rated according to their potential value based on the following categories:
A. Outstanding potential value to the industry segment
B. Considerable Value
C. May have value for a specific purpose but likely to be of limited commercial value
Ratings are made when the decision to important/release them is made and then is reviewed on an annual basis.
In conjunction with SGNZ, NZBP will appointment several representatives to choose new varietal releases from the University of California's breeding program. These varietal selections will be based on performance, and special traits that make them suitable for NZ's growing conditions.
After the selected new varieties have gone through acceptable quarantine inspections (usually takes around 2 years), they are then released to NZBP's high health unit. These plants are then reared en mass in a clean environment prior to release to licenced propagators.
It is NZBP's responsibility to ensure there is stock available of all the commercially viable varieties. Each year varieties are reviewed for their commercial compatibility. If a variety is deemed no longer useful in a commercial setting, then NZBP will drop it from its stock and it will no longer be available to any of NZBP's licenced propagators.
When new varieties are imported into New Zealand and released from quaratine, it is NZBP's first priority to ensure the plants are put into tissue culture. This acts as an insurance policy in the event there are ever any trueness-to-type issues, unexpected loss of propagated stock, or any other unforeseen plant health situations.
NZBP provides a variety of strawberry propagation licences to potential propagators. The licence types are available to view here.
A major part of NZBP's business plan is to invest in research and development activities that will contribute to the objectives of the company. The R&D priorities of the company is as follows: