Germany's largest soft fruit organisation, OGM, based at Oberkirch, is exploring the possibility of exporting crops such as strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, cherries, blueberries, redcurrants and gooseberries next summer. It also grows many blue varieties of plums, though most of the varieties are unknown in the UK. Wendelin Benz, managing director, believes the Black Forest region has been missing out on opportunities and has appointed Mike Weber as export development manager. Weber, who is also a fruit technologist, said: "We have some very good varieties and the industry has been investing heavily in refrigerated storage which now provides us with the right infrastructure." The region has more than 10,000 growers, many small, but marketing is becoming centralised. Four years ago OGM's role was strengthened by merging four co-operatives and developing sophisticated crop management systems, reducing pesticides. {{FRESH PRODUCE }}