When Berry Innovators Become Match Makers
Driscoll’s strives to get all the best qualities in their berries using natural cross-pollination techniques. So what’s the secret to ensuring that every Driscoll’s berry is flavorful, colorful, resistant to disease, and hardy enough to ship well and arrive fresh at your grocery store? Driscoll’s selects their elite parents and crosses them together. Those plants then recombine and make children with even better qualities than the parents. This method allows Driscoll’s to achieve the best characteristics all in one plant.
Amazingly, this is the same breeding process that breeders have been using for thousands of years. The difference today is that Driscoll’s breeders are more informed now because they understand what genes are.
By focusing on natural cross-pollination techniques, Driscoll’s never genetically modifies its berries.
Matching berries for natural cross-pollination is a very big process. In any given year, Driscoll’s chooses the best plants and makes about 700 crosses. Each cross results in anywhere from 40 to nearly 300 seedlings. That means that in a single year, Driscoll’s has over 100,000 seedlings that could potentially become a new variety of berry that makes it to your supermarket.