The produce company T&G Fresh is partnering with a US strawberry breeding company to improve its offering to New Zealand consumers.
In an exclusive deal, T&G Fresh will test, grow and market unique strawberry varieties from California-based, Plant Sciences Incorporated - a leading berry breeder and agricultural research company.
T&G managing director Andrew Keaney said as well as flavour, texture and shelf-life, it was focused on developing varieties that reduce growing costs and increase productivity.
Keaney said labour was a significant and ever-increasing cost, so developing and choosing varieties that were easy to harvest was also important.
"We'll be working with our New Zealand strawberry growers over the coming months and years to trial and transition to these exciting genetics, and we'll also be the first port of call for any growers who want to include PSI berries in their operations," he said.
PSI spokesperson Scott Nelson said it was excited about the opportunity to bring innovative varieties to the New Zealand strawberry industry.
"Working closely with both T&G Fresh and their growers, we believe higher yields, better flavour and increased shelf life are achievable traits that will not only increase the margins to the farm but give consumers better tasting and longer lasting strawberries," he said.