James Hutton Limited - Breeding Innovation
2021 is the United Nations' International Year of Fruits and Vegetables - a year dedicated to raising awareness about the important role of fruits and vegetables in human nutrition, food security and health. As the commercial subsidiary of the James Hutton Institute, James Hutton Limited is proud be part of an organisation that plays a role in bringing new varieties of fruits and vegetables to consumers.
Soft fruit and potato breeding have been a staple output of the science at the James Hutton Institute and its legacy organisations since the 1930s. Today, raspberry, blackberry, blackcurrant, blueberry, redcurrant and potato all have their own industry funded breeding programmes in place at the Institute, managed by James Hutton Limited.
Although we live in a world where fruit has never been more fresh, more varied or more globally available, industry funded breeding programmes are a necessity to address the increasing challenges of production in an evolving world; climate change, poor quality and degraded soils, newly emerging pathogens, unpredictable weather, shorter and drier growing seasons and restrictions on chemical use.
James Hutton Limited breeding programmes are supported by the James Hutton Institutes 450-strong team of researchers, scientists, field staff and breeders with unrivalled expertise in pest and disease management, genetics, diagnostic development, plant stresses, imaging, modelling, statistics and more, and they are set to benefit further from investment at the James Hutton Institute when ground breaks on the £32 million Advanced Plant Growth Centre.
Consumer tastes are changing and production costs are increasing so growers need varieties that are productive, have low picking and management costs, good pest and disease tolerance and require reduced inputs, and they must also satisfy retailer and processor requirements which would include large fruit, good flavour, extended shelf life and season.
The development of varieties like this, demonstrates the major benefit of being a part of a world-leading centre of crop research. Unfortunately, there is no one size fits all solution but luckily, James Hutton Limited is in the right place to make a real difference to the fruit and vegetable industry and to agriculture as a whole.
We look forward to celebrating the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables during 2021 with our customers, collaborators and colleagues!