Evita, Amaranta and Sungold

Italy: Three new varieties of raspberry result of Sant'Orsola research

Evita, Amaranta and Sungold are the three new varieties of raspberry presented on December 13 2012, by the Italian Cooperative Sant'Orsola in Pergine (province of Trento), a leader in Italy in the production of small fruits, strawberries and late cherries.

The Head of Sant'Orsola Varietal Research Marco Giacomelli, the director of the Cooperative Michele Scrinzi and President Silvio Bertoldi were at the conference presenting the new raspberry varieties.

These three cultivars patented in 2012, brings to 8 the number of raspberry varieties the Cooperative owns or licenses exclusively. For over 10 years, Ursula has been in the experimental field of Vigolo Vattaro (Trento) a constant research and development in recent times has led to the production of new types of raspberries, strawberries and wild strawberries.

"The varietal research is now very important to us - said the director of the Cooperative Michele Scrinzi - because it allows us to provide healthier and profitable plants for our farmers to produce fruits and be more competitive, and therefore more profitable throughout the social structure."

The patented varieties are meant to meet both the needs of cultivation (production and profitability) and market demands on the characteristics of the fruit.

Evita is a variety of the early remontant raspberry , characterized by a high productivity of the plant. The fruits are conical, bright red and large and ensure an high shelf life.


Amaranta has a structure which facilitates harvesting of the plant, while the fruits have a well-balanced taste and a good resistance.


Finally Sungold is a yellow raspberry, durable and delicate in flavor, whose plant provides above-average productivity.


FreshPlaza has interviewed Marco Giacomelli, head of Variety Research at Sant'Orsola.

For how long have you been breeding raspberry?
For over 10 years, first through the Valberry InterBerry projects at the Edmund Mach Foundation of San Michele and then independently, with the activities of our experimental field of Vigolo Vattaro (TN).

The activity of varietal innovation occurs through natural breeding, experiments involve today an area of ​​12,000 square meters. The process to get to a new variety requires a long selection process, which starts from the evaluation of 6,000 seedlings each year.

President Silvio Bertoldi with the Head of Sant'Orsola Varietal Research Marco Giacomelli (right).

Only a limited number of selections arrive at the final stage, during which the tests are carried forward as for production, average weight of the fruit shelf life, acidity, sweetness, hardness and compressive strength. Before they get to nurseries and fields, the varieties face a path of virus sanitation at specialized institutes and a path of controlled propagation screenhouse in nurseries of confidence.

Since 2010 we are also equipped with a laboratory for the production of plants in vitro via micropropagation: this allows us to increase the amount of material available and have therefore healthy specimens of safety in case of unforeseen events during the normal phase of production in the field, as frost, plants dry out or malfunction of refrigerators.

What were the objectives of this program?
The objective is to develop new varieties interesting both from the point of view of cultivation and the commercial point of view. A major challenge now is to find a flourishing raspberry similar in shape and taste to Tulameen, the best unifera variety on the market.

Are the new selections reserved only to producers who are members of Sant'Orsola?
The main destination is certainly represented by the members, with the aim of improving the profitability of their companies through more productive plants and more competitive products. Some patented varieties are also intended to be licensed around the world (UK, Western and Central Europe, Africa, America and Australia), with the exception of countries that can compete with us on fruit.

Are the new selections commercially available?
Evita, Amaranta and Sungold were sent this spring to Nak, Dutch institute where the plants are sanitized against viruses and other diseases. In the summer the patent application has been filed at the Plant Variety Community Office. Next year our members will conduct the extended production tests to determine which variety is best suited to the various Italian regions. After these steps, the varieties can be used commercially.

What is the trend of the commercial raspberry in Italy? And how much is your turnover?

Together with blueberry, raspberry is the small fruit that showed the greatest increases in production. Parallel to this increase in supply, the demand has an increasing trend and this fruit is now a first-class value at Sant'Orsola.

The raspberry currently plays a central role in our commercial offer, because it is the only small fruit for wich we can ensure an Italian production for 12 months a year. For this is around it that we set the business activities of all other small fruits.


Sant'Orsola Soc. Coop. Agricola
Sara Bellini
Via Lagorai 131
38057 Pergine Valsugana (TN) - Italy
Phone: (+39) 0461 518170
Email: sara.bellini@santorsola.com
Web: www.santorsola.com

Publication date:

Receive the daily newsletter in your email for free | Click here

Other news in this sector:

Sign up for our daily Newsletter and stay up to date with all the latest news!

Subscribe I am already a subscriber