GoodBerry partners at 18th China Strawberry Culture Tourism Festival and the 1st Asian Strawberry Industry Symposium in Jinan, Shandong, December 18-20, 2019

To showcase new technologies of Chinese strawberry industry, promote the latest scientific and technological achievements, and strengthen communication and industry, the 18th China Strawberry Culture Tourism Festival and the 1st Asian Strawberry Industry Symposium were held together in Jinan, Shandong, last December 18-20, 2019.

Since 2001, this important event is organized every year in different Chinese provinces with the aim to promote the development of strawberry industry and consumer demand of high-quality strawberry fruit all over the country. It has strongly contributed to the fast and huge development of the Chinese strawberry industry now reaching the first position in the world with 170,000 ha, as a response of the continuous increase of market demand. This trend will continue in the next years and the annual Festival is always aimed to bring new knowledges and to promote the development of new technologies for increasing productivity and quality in different cultivation areas.

The 2019 Festival was held in Jinan, the capital of Shandong, a very industrial Chinese Province with more than 100 million habitants, now with about 30,000 ha dedicated to strawberry cultivation. More than 1300 participants were registered to the Festival, including researchers from all main Chinese Universities and Agriculture Academies, representatives of different companies involved and from the strawberry industry (nurseries and providers of equipment’s, materials and products), as well as many growers.

The Festival included different events: a) an opening ceremony with different cultural events; b) a very large exposition of fruit samples from growers from different Provinces. All samples were assessed by a group of experts and awards were assigned to growers providing the best fruit quality; c) a visit to local growers, packaging and processing industry and d) a scientific symposium including presentations from different Chinese research groups and international experts. This year, thanks to the participation of different experts from South Korea and Japan, it was possible to simultaneously organize the 1st Asian Strawberry Industry Symposium.

The main topics of the discussion were the following:

  1. new cultivars: Benihope and Sweet Charlie are the first 2 cultivars now cultivated, followed by new cultivars from Chinese breeding programs (in particular JingZangXiang, NingYu and Snow White (white fruit)). There is the interest to introduce and test other new cultivars;
  2. plant propagation: there is a great need to develop new propagation systems able to sustain the huge demand of plants (mostly fresh – plug plants) with high sanitary quality;
  3. cultivation systems for continuous production in different climates, mostly soil-less;
  4. greenhouse facilities for whiter production, from the traditional solar greenhouse (see photo) to the new systems;
  5. new types of substrates from waste products.

As international contribution was also included the presentation of Prof. Bruno Mezzetti, from Marche Polytechnic University, Ancona (Italy) on current trends and challenges to strawberry production: breeding for resilience and nutritional quality. The presentation summarized some results of the GoodBerry project , that also involves the research group of the Agricultural Academy of Beijing leaded by Prof. Yunthao Zhang. The research activities carried out for the project also have a high impact on different Chinese research and development programs.