Israeli strawberry varieties are set to be grown in the UK.
English growers which supply AFI, part of the Redbridge Group, will be able to trial new varieties of Israeli strawberries supplied by ReDeva.
The company has taken over the internationally respected breeding programme of GIYO and will continue with its own work on raspberries, blackberries and blueberries.
The deal has taken AFI Redbridge chairman Douglas Kemp 18 months to put together and the investment is thought to run into hundreds of thousands of pounds over the next five years. New managing director is Ronnie McNicol,who was previously in charge of the Scottish Crops Research Institute, and ReDeva will use Premier Plant Producers near Hull as the major base for growing Israeli-supplied seed annually.
McNicol added that breeding new varieties would lead to considerable growth in UK demand: "We're bringing together some of the most successful fruit breeders to produce new varieties."