Variety Development involves two steps. The testing of new varieties by growers is the first step and, for varieties thought to have potential, the second step is commercialization.
PICO coordinates grower tests of new selections at sites throughout Canada and other major fruit producing areas in the world. The trials are set up on growers’ own properties and may range up to one acre in size. In order to make the best use of what is often a limited quantity of new tree wood stocks, PICO supplies propagative material to growers for planting. In this way, PICO can be sure that the trees are well-distributed amongst the various sites, thus ensuring that ample data are collected.
Requests for testing from International growers, please contact PICO directly.
While testing is the first step on the road to commercialization, a selection becomes commercialized once it has been named. Naming of the variety is the responsibility of the variety owner. Naming of a variety by the grower, for any reason, is not permitted because it might jeopardize the opportunity for the owners to obtain Plant Breeders’ Rights or Plant Patents.
PICO welcomes inquiries and participation in its evaluation programme. Without test growers and their feedback, varietal development becomes a much longer process. For new varieites in the early testing stage there is often minimal propagative wood available. PICO reserves the right to distribute propagative wood in a manner that would be the most advantageous to the development of the selection.
Test varieties are just that, for “test”. There are no guarantees that the variety will become a commercial success. DO NOT PLANT WHAT YOU CANNOT AFFORD TO LOSE.
As the evaluation of the varieties continues, test plantings may be increased or disposed of as each case warrants. The planting of more than one acre of any test variety is not recommended because of the inherent risks.
Growers and packinghouses need a minimum quantity of fruit to make any kind of assessment on the commercial quality, efforts may therefore be made to channel fruit to one packing house to create enough volume to justify "running" the product over the line. Market testing of the varieties will be done in agreement between PICO, the packinghouses and BC Tree Fruits
- Test growers are required to sign a Testing Agreement with PICO.
- The signing of a Non-propagation and Non-distribution Agreement with PICO is required. Test varieties and the propagative material are the property of the owner and may not be distributed nor be bulked up by the tester without the consent of the owner.
- Test growers are required to keep detailed records
- PICO has the right to share any information with any third party, for the purpose of propagation verification, the collection of fruit levies that may exist, or for such other business purposes that PICO deems necessary.
- The fruit from test trees may be used for packing/storage trials, and all fruit from test plots may be directed to packers and/or marketers selected by PICO.
- The trees, fruit or any other part of the plant material may not be used, in any aspect, for genetic transformation including, but not limited to, gene insertion, gene cloning and/or gene de-activation without the express written consent of PICO.
- Some of the material for propagation and/or testing is not certified virus free.
- PICO requires reasonable access, by appointment, to the test variety for evaluation.
- All information is the property of the variety owner and PICO. Collection and distribution of the information will be done by PICO. Only when information is collated can an accurate assessment of the variety be done.
- Naming of the variety is the responsibility of the variety owner. Naming of a variety by the grower, for any reason, is not permitted because it might jeopardize the opportunity for the owners to obtain Plant Breeders' Rights or Plant Patents.
- Test growers may be required to allow PICO access to the test trees to harvest propagative material.