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Fruit for the Future 2019

Industry event
25 July 2019, 3pm to 6.30pm, Free
at the James Hutton Institute, Invergowrie, Dundee DD2 5DA
for farmers, agronomists, food and drink industries and researchers

Fruit for the Future is one of the James Hutton Institute’s most successful and long-running industry events and is aimed at farmers, agronomists, representatives of the food and drink industries, researchers and others interested in soft fruit.

Back by popular demand are technical seminars covering the use of technology and apps within the soft fruit industry followed by a guided tour of our raspberry and blueberry breeding plots and a demonstration from Farming & Water Scotland on looking after your soil health. No fruit event would be complete with raspberry taste testing and scoring and our infamous cream tea!

This year, we are delighted to welcome and host Ben MacPherson, Minister for Europe, Migration and International Development. The Minister will meet with senior staff and industry leaders to discuss the key issues within the soft fruit industry and then open and welcome everyone to the event.

We are once again running our SWD Monitoring Clinic on behalf of RESAS and AHDB where you can bring a sample of fruit from your farm for confidential analysis.


3.00pm Registration and SWD Clinic drop off

3.15pm Official open and welcome from the Minister

3.30pm Technical seminars

4.30pm Guided tour of the demo and trial plots

6.00pm Raspberry selection taste test and cream tea

~6.30pm Event closes


To book your place in advance, please click the link below to pre-register. While pre-registration is not essential, we do recommend booking your place in advance so that enough catering can be ordered. It also speeds things up on arrival to the event.

Seminar Programme

Integration of automated mildew control with UV-C in IPM strategy strawberry: Peter Melis, Research Centre Hoogstraten

Peter Melis is Co-ordinator of Strawberry Research at Research Centre Hoogstraten and is involved in several research projects including EU H2020 GoodBerry (improving the stability of high-qualitative traits of berries and Lightman (Management of light in protected crops).

Powdery mildew (Podosphaera aphanis) is one of the most common diseases in strawberry cultivation and is mainly controlled by regular chemical interventions. In view of sustainable strawberry cultivation and securing the working rate of the active ingredients in the future, the use of UV-c light can be a good alternative for controlling powdery mildew. In this presentation, Peter talks about the optimization of UV-C treatments in strawberry and how to integrate the technique in present IPM strategies. The objective is to successfully control powdery mildew without disrupting other aspects (like beneficial mites) in the cultivation.

What could apps ever do for the soft fruit industry? Matt Aitkenhead, James Hutton Institute and Marcus Travers, SoilEssentials

Smartphone apps are used more and more in agriculture for a wide range of purposes from accessing farm data to recognising crop diseases using artificial intelligence. At the Hutton Institute we have produced several apps that are largely aimed at barley and potato growers, but some of these could have uses in the soft fruit sector. Others that we have produced have functions that could be useful for soft fruit growers, and we’re keen to talk about these and other apps with you. We’ll be presenting some examples of Hutton apps and highlighting potential uses and discussing scientific developments that could be made useful through smartphone technology.

To be able to help growers and other potential app users and provide apps that do what they need, we are looking for suggestions. If you have a suggestion for an app or a comment about how one of our apps could be changed, please let us know. If you’re not sure but you have a problem that you think might be helped by an app, feel free to get in touch or discuss with me on the day.

Understanding the causes of "crumbly fruit" in red raspberry: Luca Scolari, James Hutton Institute  

Raspberry fruit is complex. It is an aggregate of multiple fertilised ovaries (an average 75-85 per cane) referred to as ‘drupelets’ once they get fleshy and juicy. A common problem negatively affecting yield is misshapen fruit with a low number of larger drupelets known as ‘crumbly fruit’ in the industry.

Research undertaken by Luca Scolari at the James Hutton Institute has suggested that phytohormones, specifically abscisic acid (ABA), may have a crucial role in regulating the early stages of fruit growth.

Luca will present some of the findings from his research and explore how we can use this knowledge to fine tune agrochemical treatments to treat plants at the first signs of crumbly fruit symptoms. 

Guided Tour Stops

Raspberry breeding plots: Nikki Jennings, James Hutton Limited

Blueberry breeding plots: Susan McCallum, James Hutton Institute

Blueberry consumption in the UK continues to expand rapidly with sales exceeding £350 million per year. Concern over environmental impact and sustainability of agricultural practices is leading to an emphasis on pest and disease resistance, the ability of plants to withstand local environmental stresses, as well as essential fruit quality attributes. We currently have 50 advanced selections which have been flagged for potential trialling due to their exceptional performance over the last two years and look forward to seeing how they perform again this year, before a final decision is made to continue or cull!

Farming and Water Scotland: Gavin Elrick, SAC and Catherine Bernasconi, SEPA

Better soil health can improve drainage, water retention and soil workability, benefitting crop yields. Do you know how to assess your soil health and, if needed, what to do to improve it? With our thoughts turning to efficient water use, we will be considering practical options to make best use of water on the farm and what to do when there is either too much or not enough.

Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) Clinic

Launched at Fruit for the Future 2016, we're continuing to run our SWD Clinic, which forms part of the UK SWD monitoring project jointly funded by RESAS and AHDB, and invite growers to submit a maximum of two samples of soft fruit from their own farms for testing. There will be no charge for this.

If you would like your fruit tested for the presence of SWD, please bring approximately 200g of fruit (raspberries, strawberries, cherries etc.) to the event. *All fruit should be presented in a clear, sealed plastic bag and delivered on arrival at the James Hutton Institute. The SWD team will take your sample where it will be given an individual number and securely stored for testing. Email contact details will be required so that the result of the test can be sent to you in confidence.

*Freshly picked, i.e. no earlier than the day before the event and chilled

We look forward to seeing you (and your fruit!) at the event.

Alison Dolan

CPD Points

Attendees at this meeting will be awarded 3 BASIS and 1 NRoSO point.


The event is being held at the James Hutton Institute, Invergowrie and directions can be found below.


If you have any queries, please contact: Pam Cassidy, Events Co-ordinator, The James Hutton Institute, Invergowrie, Dundee DD2 5DA. Email:, Tel:01382 568 751.


Printed from /events/fruit-future-2019 on 20/02/24 10:28:35 PM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.