J. O. Sims has signed an 8 year varietal agreement with Bologna University's Department of Agricultural Sciences for 18 yellow Ranier-like and 5 red Sweet® cherry cultivars.

"The agreement will grant us exclusive growing and commercial rights in the UK, USA and Spain," says Managing Director, Christopher Sims. "Both ourselves and the University are very optimistic that these new varieties will deliver excellent results in terms of fruit quality, flavour, high productivity and consistent cropping. The University of Bologna has an excellent track record in this regard dating back to the 1980's when it began its first breeding programme. In particular we are looking for cultivars that produce top quality, large sized fruit that will offer the consumer consistency and ripen uniformly over the entire growing season."

"Our objective when developing new varieties is to meet the various demands of the producers and the marketplace; with priority assigned to consumers followed by business," says Dr. Stefano Lugli from Bologna University. "In addition to the routine approach of crossing and selection, we also employ various unique and patented techniques to speed up the initial development process, to increase the probability of success and to develop superior quality cherries. We have been involved with J. O. Sims for over three years and their work going forward will provide invaluable field performance data from a range of growing environments and conditions."

J. O. Sims has been farming cherries for over two decades and is one of the UK's leading fresh cherry suppliers. "Bologna University are global leaders in cherry breeding and we are excited to be working with them," continues Christopher. "Especially with the prospect of bringing new varieties to market that will provide consumers with consistently high quality cherries from early to late season."

For more information:
Darren Matschull
JO Sims
Tel: +44 (0)1775 842100
Email darren.matschull@josims.com