A festive moment in Stevensweek this week. During Fresh Forward’s Open Farm Day on Tuesday, 14 June, the new strawberry variety Parlando was christened. Uniquely, this new variety – previously known under the number FE2117 – came out of the tests for substrate cultivation. However, the tests showed that the variety is also suitable for outdoor cultivation.
“Beautiful weather and a nice turnout” is how Jurgen Verheyen, Marketing Manager Strawberry from Fresh Forward Marketing & Breeding, summarises the christening of the new variety. “The friends of Fresh Forward were present, ranging from the marketing partners, the propagators of our plants, the testers of Parlando, our own breeders, and the shareholder Fragaria Holland.”
According to the Marketing Manager, Parlando scores particularly well on fruit quality. “This strawberry has a beautiful red color, a good shelf life, and a nice shape, which makes it very popular with the trading parties. Moreover, the flavor is good. It has a little ‘Elsanta acidity,’ which we like in the Netherlands and Belgium.”
“Parlando is a mid-early June bearer, and distinctive about this variety is that it has a good tolerance against Phytophthora Cactorum,” says Jurgen. “That is really an advantage compared to some other varieties. In addition, Parlando gives a high yield and has a good fruit size.”
“That combination of properties makes Parlando very promising. I expect that the variety can take a share of the Elsanta and Sonata market. The variety is suitable for many European growing regions, from the Benelux, to France, Germany, the UK, Scotland, Ireland, and northern Italy. Planting material for the coming season is still available, and we expect to go over one million plants.”
The variety is not exclusive and can therefore be planted and marketed by anyone. “Parties such as FruitMasters, The Greenery, Coöperatie Hoogstraten, and BelOrta have already followed the variety over the past year. They are very positive about the combination of the taste, the nice appearance, and the good shelf life.”
As is their tradition, Fresh Forward Marketing & Breeding chose a term from the musical world again for the variety name for the Parlando. The Parlando stands for a musical recital, where the text is not sung but spoken. “Think of ‘De Vlieger’ by André Hazes, but ‘It’s hard to stay modest’ might be a more apt example in this case,” Jurgen concludes with a laugh.