KG exclusivity for Sovereign varieties Major CalIfornian strawberry breeder Driscoll Strawberry Associates has granted exclusivity to English soft fruit co-operative KG (formerly Kentish Garden) to grow late ever bearers Alta Vista and Bueza in the UK. KG already has 70 acres of these varieties under production among its 65 growers. These will be collectively branded Sovereign, a name not too dissimilar to English variety Royal Sovereign ­ no longer in prouduction. Nick Marston, KG's managing director, said: "The new US hybrids have been performing very well. We have chosen the name as a tribute to a very well known traditional variety that is no longer available." Chairman Andrew Davison is keen to develop out of season imports which already come from Israel, Egypt, Holland and Belgium and will have a value this year of about £6m. Last week the co-operative used Fruit Focus 2000 to reveal a name change from Kentish Garden to KG, which it feels indicates its wider global role. However the majority of its production is British based, and its expanding membership through increased production expects to sell a further £30m worth of fruit mainly to UK supermarkets this season. The target is £40m in two years' time. KG has cut marketing costs from 8.5% to 6.5%, and has given a further rebate of 0.7% for the last three years. However this season has not been easy so far. "Results for strawbery growers have so far been disappointing with lower than average total yields, and high levels of misshapen berries," said Marston The weather in Scotland has been kinder to the crop with a successful season. Raspberries promise high yields of quality fruit. {{FRESH PRODUCE }}